PORT CHARLOTTE, FL –
Residents in one Port Charlotte neighborhood say they’re confused about the county’s plan to switch their septic tanks to a sewer system. First, the push was about polluted water. Now, it’s a legal issue — either way, it’s a costly switch.
Residents would have to pay nearly $10,000 over 20 years. During a county commissioners meeting last month, residents expressed their outrage and the plan was almost ditched until commissioners raised yet another issue. Commissioners said they’ll lose state funding for some local projects if they don’t switch over.
Some say that’s not true.
“They’ve told us that FDEP and the state is forcing us,” said Scott Andrichak of Save Our Septics. “We asked FDEP and they have told us that there is no notification of violation for not putting in the sewer system.”
“I don’t have the money for it,” said Justin Litchfield, who lives in the Spring Lake neighborhood. “I don’t want them to put a lien on my house and they say, ‘well you can make easy payments, easy installments.’ I don’t really have the money for that.”
Commissioner did vote to apply for grants that could bring down the monthly cost for homeowners. They’re expected to address that Wednesday during a board meeting. The public will not be able to comment.
Still, residents are wondering what changes, if any, are coming to the proposal, how much it’ll cost and when. Charlotte County Commissioners and officials who have been working on the project for the county’s Public Utilities Department were unavailable for comment.