Collier County pushes to move hundreds of homes to sewer system

Naples City Council will decide Wednesday whether to install a new sewer and storm water system that would cost each household $18,000.

Kenneth Vaughn is watching the neighborhood change right before his eyes.

“I’ve lived here 48 years never seen water in this house until this past year,” Vaughn said.

His childhood home was filled with floodwater after the hurricane. After years of running his and his wife Dawn’s home on a private septic tank, more changes are coming.

“Our affordable neighborhood is not going to be so affordable anymore,” Vaughn said.

Gulf Acres and Rosemary Heights are along U.S. 41. They’re in Collier County, but are within Naples’ water system jurisdiction.

“A lot of these homes are retired or a one income home and this could potentially push them away,” Dawn said.

Muffy Clark Girl said she’s been circling petitions she plans to deliver to the council meeting, but she said the city is blindsiding them.

“They mandated this to us without giving us a say in the process,” Gill said.

The city sent them a letter last year, but neighbors say they just found out about the cost.

There are two options: pay the $18,000 up front or add it to their tax bill for the next 20 years.

But the city argues sewer systems are more environmentally friendly and safer in storms.

“I’m all for health and human welfare but it has to be at a price we can afford,” Gill said.

The mayor told WINK News this new system is a necessity especially after seeing actual fecal matter come out of septic tanks after Irma.

Trust WINK News to bring more information on the council’s decision.

Reporter:Olivia Mancino
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