Plan calls for $100M to remove septic tanks in Jacksonville’s underserved neighborhoods

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri has tabled a bill calling for $ 100 million for septic tank removal in underserved neighborhoods.

The plan is in addition to efforts to phase out the septic tanks in the Biltmore, Beverly Hills and Christobel neighborhoods.

The city reached an agreement with JEA in 2016 to invest more than $ 30 million in exiting septic tanks in these three neighborhoods. However, News4Jax I-TEAM learned that the program stalled when the city ran out of money. The city and JEA said they will need $ 6 million to complete the septic tank phasing out program in the Beverly Hills East neighborhood, which directly affects 150 households. City officials also said funding for the septic tank for the Christobel neighborhood is under $ 25.8 million, directly affecting 509 homes.

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A press release Tuesday evening said Hazouri’s plan would help fund the removal of the septic tanks in “the county’s remaining neglected neighborhoods.”

“It’s time we stood up and fulfilled yesterday’s unfulfilled promises. These neighborhoods are vital to Jacksonville’s wellbeing. We haven’t provided the help that is so urgently needed for too long. Now is the time to act. Our responsibility is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of every citizen. We can no longer delay or avoid investments in our neighborhoods that have been left behind or left out, ”Hazouri said in a prepared statement. “My plan is to eradicate these septic tanks and add to the quality of life that all Jacksonville residents deserve.”

Jacksonville is trying to keep a broken promise made during Consolidation in 1968. The city agreed to improve drainage and sewage systems in older neighborhoods as it expanded the city limits to get to the beaches. To date, tens of thousands of Jacksonville residents rely on septic tanks, which have deleterious effects on local tributaries.

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Hazouri’s proposal calls for $ 100 million to make a sustained long-term commitment to septic tank removal and connection to city services. Residents have told News4Jax that the real problems after heavy rains come when their septic tanks return from the flood and human waste runoff enters the river.

At the city council meeting Tuesday night, Hazouri introduced Act 2021-100 that changed the five-year capital improvement funding program to fund the project called The Water / Wastewater System Fund.

“We know that $ 100,000,000 is just the beginning of the funds necessary to deliver on our promise. We care a lot about our city; I hope JEA, working with the city, will soon commit to accelerating efforts to clear septic tanks, ”said Hazouri.

In addition, Mayor Lenny Curry and members of the city council will hold a press conference on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to announce funding for septic tank leakage.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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