ST. LUCIE COUNTY— The county needs to clear one, final hurdle so it can eliminate all septic tanks off Treasure Coast’s barrier island in the next two years.
There will be a public hearing in April where the County Commission will vote on creating a special taxing district to fund its largest septic-to-sewer conversion project.
The $18 million project would require 532 property owners on North Hutchinson Island — in Fort Pierce Shores, Queens Cove, Coastal Cove (Jackson Way) and Coral Cove neighborhoods — to pay about $12,500 each to convert their aging septic tanks.
The remaining 68% of the project cost, about $12.6 million, is covered by grants.
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Property owners will have the option to pay the $12,500 up front in a lump sum at a discounted rate or spread it out over 20 years.
Rather than mailing ballots to the 532 property owners, asking if they’re willing to be assessed, the commission Tuesday unanimously voted to skip that step because of time constraints.
Environmental reasons, such as leaky septic tanks polluting the Indian River Lagoon, has been a driving factor behind completing the project.
“This is an opportunity for us to make a huge difference in water quality,” Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky said Tuesday.