CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - A heated meeting over water quality in one Charlotte County neighborhood.
Leaders say a the septic system is polluting the spring lake waterway and seeping into the harbor and now they want homeowners who are on septic tanks to switch to county sewer.
Residents' opinions were loud and clear.
"We've proven scientifically that the harbor is cleaner than its been in decades," says Scott Andrichak.
But the county disagrees and wants to hook up about 1,500 homes in the Spring Lake neighborhood to a sewer system.
Folks with Charlotte County Utilities say it would cost each household at most, about $10,000 over 20 years. But right now, the construction plans are only about 60 percent finished.
"Until we get the design completed, we get a construction manager who can give us a guaranteed maximum price on this, not just an opinion of cost, I will feel better sending the bills out," says Commissioner Ken Doherty.
County leaders say they will work with residents on fixed incomes or those who recently replaced their septic systems. But that's not a comfort to homeowners who say leaders added last minute language that could lower or raise the project cost.
"This is basically a blank check to Charlotte County Utilities that they can buy whatever equipment they want, whatever they feel is necessary," Andrichak adds.
County Commissioners will hold the first public hearing on the project on July 24th.