LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County has committed almost $60 million in County, State and Federal funds to protect water quality in the county. They are now working to provide sewer access to 1,500 properties in Tallahassee's Southside that are currently served by septic tanks.
Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey committed to providing an additional $10 million on Thursday as part of the Southside Action Plan to provide sewer connectivity to homes and businesses.
This plan is aimed at expanding access to basic utilities, helping sustain growth in the Southside and protecting local waterways.
"Intentional or not, it's been neglected and some of the amenities we see in more affluent sections of town, the residents on this side also enjoy, they want to enjoy the same privilege," said Hall.
Al Hall is the President of Tillman's Funeral Home.
For 10 years, Hall has been trying to get the city to make improvements to this area of the Southside, including eliminating septic tanks.
"We don't want to be on the septic system here. We need to be on total water, total City utility supported platform. Period."
Now, City and County officials are looking to expand access of sewer, water and wastewater utilities to hundreds of homes and businesses in this area.
The project is expected to cost around 10 million dollars. That's money already approved and set aside for utility improvement projects like this one from the City's budget for 2022-23.
They would plan, design and lay down the infrastructure needed for homes and businesses to switch over from septic tanks to sewage. The County would then cover hook up costs for all those wanting to switch.
Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey believes getting off of septic tanks can help sustain growth in the community. "We are taking the necessary steps to extend down to the Urban Services Boundary the proper infrastructure, which will entice businesses. It will entice residents to be able to come down."
The project will also help the environment. When septic tanks are cleaned, they can often leak. That sewage can flow into the local waterways like Lake Munson or the Wakulla Springs Basin.
County Chairman Bill Proctor says eliminating this process is a win for everyone involved. "Put the pipes down, it's free of charge and we want to protect the sanitary health of the entire region and basins for our lake, for our springs and for what we drink."
This item is expected to be discussed at the next City Commission meeting on October 12th. The Board will ask staff bring back a study of utilities in the area and what they can do for planning, design and construction.