Florida city prepares to undergo $20 million expansion of water, sewage utility network

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UC) — The city of Tallahassee wants to begin planning the expansion of water and sewage utility services to Southside neighborhoods.

Planning, according to the City Commission, would cost $2 million. The total undertaking is anticipated to cost around $20 million and take three years to finish.

"If your drain field goes bad that's very expensive to fix. If you got to pump the septic tanks out, uh so having sewer is nice," Lisa Palmer told WTXL.

Tallahassee Discount Furniture's proprietor, Lisa Palmer, has lived in the region for ten years. She is happy that the City of Tallahassee could bring sewage and water services to her region of the Southside.

"It would help our business a lot and just having access to stuff so people in this community don't have to go as far to find what they need," Palmer said.

The Board wants to begin the planning process to assist about 203 properties in the vicinity of Capital Circle Southeast, Woodville Highway, and Crawfordville Highway in switching from septic tanks to sewage systems.

In order to increase fire protection in the area, this planned phase calls for the building of 16,000 feet of water mains, 19,000 feet of sewer pipes, and 30 fire hydrants.

Septic tanks should be eliminated, according to Commissioner Curtis Richardson, because doing so would safeguard water quality and support continued growth in the Southside. Richardson hopes to begin the project soon, but no specific date has been set. "Begin planning for and looking for the funding so that we can go ahead as quickly as possible get this completed."

Commissioner Jack Porter on the other hand, disagrees. "I think we're rushing this and moving way too quickly. We're talking about a project that will cost upwards of $22 million and making changes to the budget that we just passed a few weeks ago."

She wants to make sure the board has more community input before moving forward. "I don't want us to slow things down to prolong the process or progress and improvements we need to make; I just want to make sure that because it's so important we do it the right way."

However, the Board has given the project its approval to begin planning. They still haven't developed a finance plan.


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