Once again, the local media is publishing dubious claims about “neglected” residents of the city.
The so-called “I-team” at News4Jax said, “Residents of the Christobel neighborhood learned this week that the city doesn’t have enough money to convert their septic tanks into city sewer systems after promising them the service in the late 1960s.”
But the story failed to cite any source for the alleged promise.
I covered the city government extensively in those days and I don’t remember any such promise.
What has happened in that people in outlying areas bought homes cheaply because they had septic tanks rather than being connected to a sewerage system.
Septic tanks work perfectly well in some areas but do require periodic maintenance.
In many cases, connection to the city’s sewer system has been available but has been declined by local residents because they don’t want to pay the cost.
Several members of City Council want taxpayers who already have paid for their own connection to now pay for connecting other people.
That would increase the value of the homes of those getting the free connection.
There is nothing in the U.S. or state constitutions, or the city charter, recognizing any right to a free sewer connection.
Another voice on the topic is from Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper. She claims there are 16,000 septic tanks that pose a threat to the local waterways because they might leak.
She claimed in a News4Jax story, again without presenting any evidence, that leaking tanks are making people sick.
Jacksonville should seek money from the state and local government, she said.
Removing 16,000 septic tanks and connecting those homes to the city system probably would cost billions of dollars.
It is always remarkable how liberals talk about spending Other People’s Money as if there was an infinite supply.
There is nothing wrong with the media promoting another taxpayer giveaway. But there is no excuse to presenting it as an obligation based on a mythical promise made by politicians 50 years ago.
Just tell local taxpayers you want them to pay to improve someone else’s home.