March 22, 2021
Mayor Michelle Coldiron
Commissioner David Rice
Commissioner Craig Cates
Commissioner Mike Forster
Commissioner Eddie Martinez
Re: March 17th, 2021 Agenda Item M2 – Discussion and direction on the County payment of future wastewater system expansions and collection of system development fees for future developed properties.
Dear Mayor and Monroe County Commissioners:
After hearing Assistant County Administrator Kevin Wilson’s presentation at Wednesday’s BOCC meeting, Last Stand opposes any consideration of the expansion of the Big Coppitt Wastewater Treatment Plant because the expansion under discussion is based upon the inclusion of the additional “early evacuation ROGOs” that are still under legal challenge. Mr. Wilson’s presentation made clear that all other “planned development” could be handled by the current plant capacity and that it is only when these additional ROGOs are added that the plant would exceed capacity.
We take issue on several points.
- This very expensive expansion ($14.8 Million) is based on development plans (300 additional ROGOs) that are under legal challenge with the Third District Court of Appeals.
- Prior BOCC discussion of these 300 additional ROGO’s was that they would be held for “Administrative Relief” in Takings Cases only, and yet now there is a proposal to build capacity for these same ROGOs at significant expense to County taxpayers.
- The Big Coppitt Wastewater Treatment plant uses a shallow disposal well. Last Stand objects to the use of shallow sewage wells of any size, yet this proposal suggests increasing capacity to such a system. If a small-capacity shallow well is a bad idea due to the porous nature of our limestone geology, then adding capacity to that shallow well simply makes that situation worse!
While the introduction and some focus of the topic was regarding “control of the wastewater treatment plant asset,” any discussion of funding or cost sharing of an expansion seems premature, given all of the critical issues at hand.
Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter.
For the Last Stand Board,
D.A. Aldridge, President
cc: Kevin Wilson (Wilsonemail@example.com)
Roman Gastesi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emily Schemper (Schemper-Emily@monroecounty-fl.gov)