“In 2016, my team and I committed to completing septic tank phaseouts in three Jacksonville neighborhoods with the highest need,” Mayor Curry said. “We started the project and that funding ran out, however, our commitment to families living there did not. The additional funding we announced today, in collaboration with City Council and JEA, will fulfill that promise and complete the important work in the Christobel communities.”
The three neighborhoods prioritized for the septic tank phase-out include the Biltmore neighborhood, where more than $17 million was already used to complete the project, the Beverly Hills neighborhood, where $38 million is allocated, is currently underway. Now that additional funding has been secured, the project could expand to the Christobel community.
“I am grateful to the Mayor, his Administrative Team and my City Council Colleagues for ensuring that a promise made, is a promise honored,” Council Vice-President Newby said.
Council members Newby, Pittman and Priestly-Jackson have worked alongside Mayor Curry to find solutions and secure the $25 million in funding needed to complete the third neighborhood.
City Council member Priestly-Jackson said, “The support by JEA, Mayor Curry and our colleagues on City Council of shared commitments to our neighbors in the Christobel area shows promises made are promises kept. We serve Jacksonville’s needs better together.”
While this much needed funding will be directed to the Christobel neighborhood, significantly more funding is necessary to replace septic tanks with safer alternatives in more than 30 additional neighborhoods.
“The Septic Tank Phase-Out for the Christobel neighborhood is a priority for me,” Councilwoman Pittman said. “Unfortunately, the septic tanks budget located in the “north quadrant” over the years were not the real numbers for the real issues for the phase-out. As the Councilwoman of District 8, the City needs to make good on the 50-year commitment via consolidation and resolve the broken promises to the residents. They have waited long enough for this project to be completed and come to fruition.”
“We have to start somewhere,” Mayor Curry said. “We can’t keep writing this issue off as a multi-generational and multi-billion dollar problem that is too big to address. We made promises to do this and the time has come for government to start keeping its promises to its people, however big or however expensive. Stay tuned for an announcement in the coming weeks where in collaboration with my colleagues on City Council, we will further address this decade old issue once and for all.”
When properly maintained, septic systems are a good waste management alternative. However, when not properly sited or maintained, they can cause contamination of surface and groundwater resources, which leads to public health and pollution problems.