Residents of Northside neighborhood frustrated to learn septic tank removal plans on hold

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is both anger and frustration from people living in the Christobel Church on the northside of Jacksonville after learning that money to fund their part of the septic tank exit program may run out.

The director of the city’s public works department announced Monday that the cost of exiting septic tanks in the Biltmore and Beverly Hills neighborhoods is higher than expected. He added that the plans in the Christobel congregation will only move forward when more money is secured.

Christobel residents told News4Jax that everything felt like a slap in the face. The city appears to have no problem finding money for multi-million dollar projects like the development of Lot J, but when it comes to the city’s oldest community, its health and quality of life take a back seat.


“What is more valuable? Which is more important: the health of the community or Lot J? “Said Yah Ya Kariem, who lives in Northside.” Again, I understand the economic benefit, but what about the health problems this can cause in this area? What about? “The stench we endure because Lot J needs to be done before bringing sewage to this area? “

Kariem said he had heard enough of city guides’ excuses as to why they couldn’t provide his community with basic city sewer services. Kariem said the latest news about the Lot J plans is evidence that the city’s priorities are terribly out of place.

“Here we are again in this community – a black community – we are at the bottom again.” You can wait. They’ll make a little noise now, but they’ll calm down later, “said Kariem.” But we cannot calm down. We have to put pressure on them until they do what is necessary to make this community viable. “


Kariem said that when it rains, a noticeable smell of urine and feces covers the nearby neighborhood, which explains it smells like septic tanks retreating after heavy downpours.

Kariem’s ​​neighbor, Miguel Vazquez, showed News4Jax a drainage ditch right in front of his house that is still filled with rainwater that he said will eventually flood his back yard.

“Every time it rains, the running water from the road that runs into the moat in front of our houses becomes so full that it flows into our courtyards. As soon as it gets into our yards, it ends up in the septic tanks. It automatically fills up and drives back to our house, “explained Vazquez.

Vasquez said he burned out three pumps he recently bought and tried to pump the draining water from his septic tank so the septic tank would not be secured. He said the neighborhood’s house values ​​fell as a result, and he insulted Jacksonville for still failing to keep the promise the city made in 1968 to improve the sewage and drainage systems in the city’s oldest neighborhoods.


“Terrible. I don’t know how many more years we can stand for this,” Vazquez said. “Please hurry up and get our sewers up our street area and all of our Moncrief Village area. It would be of great help to our community . “

Jacksonville Councilor Brenda Priestly Jackson told News4Jax that the Committee on Social Justice and Community Investment is currently looking for new sources of funding and is planning a follow-up meeting on October 16 on the matter.

Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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