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Tallahassee and Leon leaders want to get more Southside residents switched to from septic to sewer

a group of eight people in business clothes stand behind a lecturn
Regan McCarthy
Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor says depending on a septic system can put a strain on families trying to keep up with the cost of maintenance and repair.

Tallahassee and Leon County leaders announced a plan Thursday to help more residents switch from septic to sewer hookups. The proposal would improve quality of life for those residents, pave the way for more development and help to protect nearby water resources.

County Commissioner Bill Proctor says depending on septic tanks can put homeowners on a tight budget in a tough position.

“People are embarrassed to talk about my septic tank is not working. You don’t hear people talk about that. They’ll tell you my transmission needs fixing, my heater ran out, my air conditioner don’t work. But nobody walks around telling nobody my septic tank don’t work," Proctor said. "It’s kind of embarrassing for people and when these things occur not everyone can reach in their front pocket and handle things like that.”

Proctor says hooking up to the city’s sewer lines would help to reduce unexpected repair costs. It would also reduce environmental concerns about septic tanks leaking into nearby ground water.

The plan would extend sewer hookups to about 100 homes ans several businesses within the Urban Services Boundary on Tallahassee’s Southside. The area, known as "the triangle" sits between Woodville Highway, Crawfordville Road and Capital Circle Southwest. Under the plan the city would invest more than $10-million to extend sewer infrastructure into the area. Proctor says the county will then work to identify grant funding to cover the cost of individuals making the switch and would also focus on outreach and education.

“Placing that information in bite-sized portions because heretofore people have heard about septic to sewer and it’s $10-$12,000. So we do have to try to tell the community about it.”

Commissioner Proctor and Mayor John Dailey plan to bring the proposal before their respective commissions for discussion in the coming weeks.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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