in support of dumping Governor Rick Scott and his Mother Nature Raping Grinder Pump Humpers – that’s the good news for them

dump the pumps

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Whenever there is nothing new at this website, there almost always is something new at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, where I now am living.

Florida Keys attorney Lee Rohe replied over yesterday’s when the chickens came home to roost and other Key West homeless tourist attractions post at that website:

Lee represented Dump the Pumps until it secured mainland legal counsel, which requested that Lee remain involved for consultation and other lawyerly assistance.

blind-justice.jpg

Sloan, you may want to contact Banks Prevatt (872-5264) for the latest on the DEP’s decision to not hold a hearing on the FKAA’s permits until after the system is installed! Strikes me as outrageous.

I replied:

Hi, Lee -

I told Banks et. al. last fall to exhaust administrative remedies and file suit. Now, I am unable to get a straight answer out of Banks as to why the new lawyers have not filed suit, despite seeing over and over again that FKAA [Florida Keys Aqueduct Authorit] and DEP [Florida Department of Environmental Protection] and MC [Monroe Conty] are in cahoots and could give a tinker’s damn about permits, Dump the Pumps’ rhetoric, etc.

Do you know why they have not filed suit?

Sloan

Lee wrote:

Robert Hartsell, an attorney in Ft. L, filed petitions under FL’s admin procedures act, Ch. 120, challenging the permits about to be issued for BPK. DEP is supposed to refer the petitions to an admin law judge who sets a hearing to determine the validity of the permits. This is when the engineers will testify about all the technical stuff that’s wrong with the pumps, etc. But DEP won’t send the Petitions to the admin law judge even though DEP has only 15 days to do it or tell Dump the Pumps how the Petition is insufficient due to missing info. (There’s no missing info.) A writ of mandamus could be brought in court asking the court to make DEP perform its ministerial duty of referring the petitions to the admin law judge at the Div. of Admin Hearings. The permits about to be issued for BPK, having been timely challenged through the petitions, are not considered in effect until the challenge is concluded. Yet FKAA and contractors are proceeding as if they have permits. DEP has told FKAA, according to Kirk Zeulch on US 1 Radio today, to proceed and not worry. The DEP will look at the issues raised by the petitions before the installed “dry” sewer lines are put into “wet” operation. In other words, DEP says go ahead and build the system and we’ll do a check on it after it’s in the ground! In my 34 years of practice, including state government practice, I have never seen DEP act like such a blatant scofflaw — the ideologues and neo-cons have gotten hold of DEP beginning in the days of Gov. Jeb Bush and continuing thru with Gov. Scott.

I replied to Lee:

Hi again, Lee -

The Feds have the Administrative Procedures Act under which a federal agency such as even the National Labor Relations Board can be ordered by a federal court to abide by US labor laws and regulations. I would think states have counterpart administrative procedures acts. And, mandamus should lie, if the Florida law and regs are as you describe. But it sure don’t look like talking and writing and meeting and hollering and demonstrating and lobbying about it is getting anything done. Can’t say I’m surprised how DEP and FKAA have acted, are acting. Maybe a comet will land on their offices tonight, with a branding iron on the front, imprinting something like:
THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS,

YOU MOTHER NATURE FUCKING GRINDER PUMP HUMPERS!!!

YOU ASS HOLES AIN’T GONNA BELIEVE THE BAD NEWS.

Maybe the soul drawing I did this afternoon under that big beautiful tree at the entrance to Truman Waterfront got my dander up a bit.

for the earth (3)

I had no clue I was going to do a soul drawing. A woman I know in north Georgia, who dreams a lot, often about me, called this morning and told me she was told in her sleep last night to tell me to do a soul drawing of the earth. So, after everything cleared out of my to do right now pile, I pedaled my bicycle to the tree, which I figured was as good as any place to do a soul drawing of the earth. But when the pencil sketching started, I felt it was not of, but for; I don’t think I ever did a soul drawing of anything; it always was for something.

It didn’t come easy; it didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside; I wasn’t even sure it was what was called for. But when I pedaled up to Home Depot and had it copied to send to me in an email attachment, it looked a lot better than I had thought it looked under the tree. I felt like I’d been in a rugby match when I was done coloring it all in.

I used to call these drawings shaman drawings, but that caused so much commotion and confusion that calling them soul drawings seemed more suitable. Doesn’t matter what I call them; I could call them shit pies, or coconut jellies, they’d do whatever they are suppose do, whatever that is. I’m just the fellow they push themselves through. I bet your brother Tuna might be able to relate.

Ciao,

Sloan

Lee’s brother Tuna is a shaman living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were hatched and grew up on Key Largo, meaning they are Conchs (Florida Keys natives). They have strong feelings about the desecration of Mother Earth and her lands and seas.

This morning, I sent this P.S. to Lee:

Since writing to you last night, I’ve been wondering if criminal laws have been violated by DEP and FKAA officials? Scofflaws, as Banks described them in one of his email blasts. They are behaving like mobsters. Flat out ignoring state laws and regulations applicable directly to them does smell like organized crime activity.

Beyond that, if they, and Monroe County, really believed grinder pumps were as good environmentally and cheaper than gravity sewer collection, they would have installed grinder pumps on every last piece of private property in Cudjoe Regional. When something makes no sense in Keys politics, that’s a sure sign to me it’s rigged, the fix is in, somebody’s palm is getting greased in some way.

Once again, I am saying the Feds are the best folks to deal with Cudjoe Regional. I believe there is federal money involved, and there are federal environmental issues on Big Pine Key, at least. The federal RICO Act comes to mind.

Maybe, this being an election year, Governor Scott

Rick Scott

and his minions will get off their smug butts and get the lead out. Charlie Crist [the governor before Scott, who, as I recall, didn't run again because he wanted to run for Congress]

Charlie Crist

has held himself out as an environmentalist in the past. And maybe Governor Scott is aiding and abetting the scofflaws, by ignoring tsunamis of email evidence he received detailing his underlings’ (thugs might be a better term) malfeasance, and he should be indicted criminally and sewered along with them.

I will use yours and mine, and that recent beauty from Banks, and perhaps a little more of what he passed around, in a new post today at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com. I suppose I will have to tone down the title a little, but not a lot.

Ciao

From: xxxfl@gmail.com
To: Bgprevatt@aol.com
Sent: 5/15/2014 11:09:50 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: Pressure from FKAA

I liked the idea of turning the smart phone on record and saying, “please talk into the mic.”?
On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 10:27 AM, <Bgprevatt@aol.com> wrote:
Several of you contacted me in the last few days about pressure or threats you received from FKAA. One of you related yesterday that you were told if you did not allow the contractor to install the grinder pump on your property now while work was being done in your neighborhood, that you would be responsible for installing it later at your cost of $6,000.

My suggestion is still the same as it has been all along. Ask the person making such a threat to please put the statement in writing and sign their name to it.

I continue to hear about verbal threats. I have not seen one in writing.

You have to push back, or with the attitude exemplified by your friendly public servants of FKAA, they will walk all over you.

Banks

BCC 350+

From: Bgprevatt@aol.com
Date: Thu, 15 May 2014 15:07:54 -0400
Subject: Intervention Requested
To: scottopengov@eog.myflorida.com
CC: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com; bop@eog.myfl.com; christian.weiss@laspbs.state.fl.us; kelsey_wilson@billnelson.senate.gov; nick_colella@rubio.senate.gov; robert@hartsell-law.com; sarah@hartsell-law.com; lrrlaw@bellsouth.net; bigpinenews@aol.com; tohara@keysnews.com; pclarin@keysnews.com; news@flkeysmedia.com

The Office of Open Government is charged with providing both the Executive Office of the Governor and each of Florida’s agencies with the guidance and tools to serve Florida with integrity and transparency.

A copy of this was sent under separate cover to your Attorney General, and your Chief Inspector General.

Banks Prevatt, President

Dump the Pumps, Inc.

BCC: 350+

From: xxx@gmail.com
To: CIG@eog.myflorida.com
CC: Bgprevatt@aol.com, lrrlaw@bellsouth.net, maxasteel@floridadems.org, press@rpof.org, dreed@wsvn.com, dan@integrityfl.org
Sent: 5/15/2014 1:02:48 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: Intervention urgently needed! CIG #201405100001

Good afternoon, Ms. MiguelI and Ms.Robinson,

I have heard nothing from DEP Inspector General ?Candie Fuller, yet, but today the Executive Director of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, Kirk Zuelch, announced on US1 Radio that DEP has told FKAA that there is no need to stop construction and they will address the concerns of the Petitions for Administrative Hearing filed by Dump the Pumps, Inc. when construction has neared completion in a year or two!

Those petitions under Section 120 Florida Statutes legally render the permits ineffective.

DEP has 15 days to refer the petitions to the DOAH, but the first was filed April 18 and DEP continues to sit on them (27 days now) and reportedly intends to sit on them while the damage is being done and public money is squandered on illegal construction.

Does DEP make their own laws now that override Florida Statute?

Trenchers are currently reported to be tearing through threatened or endangered plants in a National Wildlife Refuge constructing a sewer system that does not meet minimum standards required by the Florida Administrative Code and does not meet national safety codes, using invalid permits. DEP reportedly says they do not care about that or about what the law is.

If there is no real oversight of state agencies and no enforcement of Florida laws except against small business and individuals, please just say so. Otherwise, how long does it take to order compliance with Florida laws?

SWFMD and PSC have no authority over FKAA, so those Inspectors General are uninvolved. Only Governor Scott has any direct oversight authority on FKAA, and by ignoring countless pleas and over 1000 petitions he has made it seem that he could care less what FKAA does, how the environment is destroyed, or how the few thousand voters here are abused on his watch. If you do not believe that to be the case, perhaps you can influence his office to more strongly encourage civic, environmental, and legal responsibility from scofflaw FKAA.
On Tue, May 13, 2014 at 1:33 PM, FL_GOV Inspector General <CIG@eog.myflorida.com> wrote:
Dear Mr. William:

Please see the attached correspondence from the Office of the Chief Inspector General.

Sincerely,

Heather Robinson
Investigations Manager
Office of the Chief Inspector General

“Enhancing Public Trust in Government”

From: John William [mailto:xxxl@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2014 1:49 PM
To: FL_GOV Inspector General
Cc: Bgprevatt@aol.com; Diana Reed; Dan Krassner; lrrlaw@bellsouth.net
Subject: [Spam:***** SpamScore] Re: Intervention urgently needed!

?Good afternoon Ms. Miguel.

Corrections to my previous email are required as to the number of grinder pump to gravity sewer conversions authorized by the Monroe County BOCC. There were 1180 conversions in October 2013 and 201 conversions in January 2014 for a total of only 1,381 rather than 1,900+ as I had misstated.

Please acknowledge receipt of these emails.
Thank you.

On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 11:00 PM, John William <xxxx@gmail.com> wrote:
Good morning, Ms. Miguel.
Your website states, “Our goal is to enhance public trust in government.”
You have your work cut out for you to restore any trust at all in the lower Florida Keys. But I sincerely hope you try.

Here is a brief review of what’s been happening while one state agency oversaw another bubba state agency. So much has happened that even a brief review with minimal explanation is still lengthy, and for that, my apologies.
State agency Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) intentionally misled the populace within the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (CRWS) islands of Lower Sugarloaf through Big Pine Key into thinking they would be served by a conventional gravity sewer system unless they were in very sparsely populated areas. This was in violation of requirements of the SRF funding of the CRWS project.
FKAA then awarded contracts that sole-sourced a brand of grinder pump only available from one dealer (E-one pumps sold by Water Resource Technologies) in clear violation of public purchasing laws.
Once the construction contracts were awarded, FKAA then announced that vast areas of the CRWS would be “served” by a “low pressure sewer” (LPS) that would require homeowners to surrender a perpetual easement on their property. The easement is for FKAA, successors, and assigns to install, monitor, service, and replace an E-1 sewage grinder pump station that has a horrifying record of dissatisfaction, failure, overflow, back-up, property destruction, and infrastructure destruction. Many of these were to be installed in quite densely populated areas- some of these areas being more densely populated than areas served by conventional gravity sewers. Obviously this was not well received by the public and accusations of graft abounded and still do. One group sprang up to challenge the wholesale use of grinder pumps in the Cudjoe area, the Sir Isaac Newton Coalition. You will find a “Report to Governor Scott” on their web pages http://www.newtoncoalition.com/ that leaves little doubt that the “fix was in” for E-1 grinder pumps. Other islands of the CRWS began to slowly band together and formed a grass roots organization Dump the Pumps, Inc. (DTP) to lobby for change from E-1.
DTP members began researching the E-1 pump, places it had been used, and technical specifics of the design. What they found was increasingly disturbing. Getting nowhere with FKAA, DTP filed an intent to sue DEP and FKAA, outlining some specifics of where FKAA and their engineers had not followed even bare minimum required design standards as defined by the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) and had furthermore used misleading or false statements on the DEP permit applications. Both are grounds for revocation of the permits per 62-4.100 F.A.C .
State agency DEP ignored the threat of lawsuit for nearly the entire 30 days allowed, then claimed they needed an additional 30 days to review the claims. DTP agreed subject to a temporary cease work on the grinder-LPS portion of the work.
DEP demanded an unconditional 30 days, and feigned sincere interest. DTP agreed, thinking that maybe DEP was sincere.
Meanwhile, FKAA focused all efforts on LPS construction and grinder pit installation. Construction went from dawn until frequently after dark 6 days a week. Crews jumped around, placing LPS-grinder infrastructure in the most densely populated areas first. High pressure and threatening tactics of duress were used to secure easements from unwilling homeowners.
DEP was largely uncooperative during the 30 day time extension, stalling on requests for information that was readily available and being generally uncommunicative while they used up their entire 30 day extension for something that would have required the attention of a single competent engineer for a few hours.
DEP answered DTP at the end of the 30 day extension with a brief statement that said they found no validity to the claims. There was not one word of explanation. It was just a disrespectful dismissal after allowing two months of construction that they were noticed was not to even minimum standards in an Area of Critical Concern where failure of the system would impact Outstanding Florida Waters in a National Marine Sanctuary.
As a result of an injunction request by the Sir Issac Newton Coalition and the presentation to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) of a petition signed by several hundred CRWS homeowners, approximately 1100 of an initial 2800+ properties that were to be served by individual grinder pump stations were resolved by the BOCC to be converted to gravity sewer service. About three months later another 800+ were resolved to be converted. It should have been more. The FKAA estimates for conversion of grinder/LPS areas were intentionally and deceptively made to appear far more expensive than they actually were. Deleted infrastructure was credited at a lower unit cost than the exact same infrastructure was charged as an addition. At times it was the exact same pipe in the same place. Densely populated areas were grouped with very remote properties to drive up the average price of conversion. Two commissioners would have approved even the inflated prices, but three wanted to misappropriate an infrastructure sales tax addition that was very specifically described and voted by referendum to fund sewers.
Because of the conversions noted above, FKAA had to seek revised permits for Upper Sugarloaf Key and Cudjoe Key. DTP protested the continued construction of a system not to minimum standards of the Florida Administrative Code and using E-1 brand pumps that are in violation of the National Electric Code with known risk of explosion in neighborhood lift stations. The protest was made by Petition for an Administrative Hearing within 14 days of Notice of Intent to Issue a Permit pursuant to Sections 120.569 and 120.57, Fla. Stat., and Rule 28-106.201, F.A.C.. Such a formal filing renders the permit ineffective pending the results of the hearing. Similar Petitions were filed against the initial permits issued by DEP for Big Pine Key North, Big Pine Key South, and Little Palm Island.
It should be noted that FKAA has published the required Notice of Intent for injection wells in a newspaper in Broward County, two counties away and not in general circulation in this county. DEP has accepted that intentional deceit as meeting the intent of the law to publish public notice.
Knowing their permits were legally rendered ineffective, FKAA continued work on grinder pump LPS construction and their Executive Director boasted about it on US 1 Radio. Furthermore, DEP advised FKAA to ignore the Petition filings and this was also announced on the radio on a later day.
One County Commissioner announced on the radio that he had met with the head of DEP and they had decided that sewer work would “go forward”. Note that this is one commissioner out of five, with no specific authority to speak for other than himself.
DTP never had an official membership roster until about two hours before the Petition was filed against the Big Pine North permit and the attorney said one was needed. A hasty email appeal to the more than 350 on the email update list brought 36 replies in time for the filing saying to count them as official members. Thirty-six is therefore the number of members used on the first permit protests. FKAA’s Executive Director mocked the membership number on the radio in an effort to deceive listeners into thinking only a few people were against a grinder based sewer. This he did knowing full well that DTP has a petition against grinder pumps with over 1450 signatures. Hours were spent trying ensure there were no duplicate signatures. Many of DTP’s most fervent supporters are not on a membership roster and not even on the anti-grinder petition because they work directly or indirectly for the County or FKAA and wish to avoid employment retributions.
DTP has spent many thousands of dollars collected in donations as small as $10 to a maximum of $500 from individual homeowners to pursue legal remedies as described in the Florida Statutes to make the DEP simply enforce minimum design standards detailed in the Florida Administrative Code. Is that so much to ask of a state regulatory agency entrusted with protection of Florida’s most valuable asset? Scofflaw state agencies FKAA and DEP ignore the law, blatantly disrespect the citizens, and endanger the environment.
Are Florida’s laws only enforced against small business and individuals?
Will these two state agencies, entrusted with protection of the environment and the public health, be allowed to make a mockery of legislation intended to ensure that these protections exist?
Will you take prompt action to remedy the situation, beginning with ordering an immediate cease and desist of challenged construction pending an impartial administrative hearing as guaranteed by law?
Please acknowledge receipt and please reply as soon as you have verified that this is not a fabrication. Thousands are counting on you to see that Florida law is upheld, and that there is indeed a rule of law. Thank you for your attention.
(Dump the Pumps website, put up by a member, contains a couple of the legal filings, the petitions, and other information: http://dumpthepumps.com/ )

From: keysmyhome@hotmail.com
To: bgprevatt@aol.com; gettheleadout@
CC: holly@hollyraschein.com; holly.raschein@myfloridahouse.gov
Subject: RE: Please respond personally
Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 09:07:59 -0400

“Looking into” is a stock phrase for politicians.

down the rabbit holehead up ass

 
Holly, I don’t see you winning lots of votes in the Lower Keys this year. Maybe you are just a Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and Key West island girl.

 
Sloan

From: Bgprevatt@aol.com
Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 08:35:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Please respond personally
To: gettheleadout@
CC: holly@hollyraschein.com; Holly.Raschein@myfloridahouse.gov

Paula,
Good try.  Sadly, I read what Rep Raschein has to say as a bureaucratic non statement.
Banks
In a message dated 5/16/2014 7:27:49 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, gettheleadout@bellsouth.net writes:


Begin forwarded message:

Holly Raschein 2Holly

From: “Raschein, Holly” <Holly.Raschein@myfloridahouse.gov>
Date: May 15, 2014 9:45:23 PM EDT
To: Paula Cannon <gettheleadout@bellsouth.net>
Cc: “Muir, Erin” <Erin.Muir@myfloridahouse.gov>, “DeLoach, Kate” <Kate.DeLoach@myfloridahouse.gov>
Subject: RE: Please respond personally
Paula,
This is something we’re continuing to look into, will keep you posted.  Thanks for touching base.
Holly

From: Paula Cannon [gettheleadout@]
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:18 AM
To: Raschein, Holly
Subject: Please respond personally
Dear Holly,
 Maybe you remember me, I wrote to you before regarding sewer issues and the many reasons why Grinder Pumps should NOT be used in the Keys, see my letter below with your reply.
This was in our paper today. If there is so much money available and you can’t figure out where to spend it, then why are the Lower Keys being forced to go on the most unreliable sewer system available, Grinder Pumps?
Why isn’t this money going towards Gravity Sewer connections for ALL of the Keys?
Paula Cannon
keysnews.com.jpg
Sewer funding article In today’s KW Citizen.
KEY LARGO — Key Largo wastewater officials expect to be on the receiving end of millions of dollars from this year’s state budget. What to do with all that money, though, continues to baffle them.
The Florida Legislature recently approved a second $50 million installment from a $200 million grant for Florida Keys wastewater construction. The $50 million is to be split among Florida Keys governments, with the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District set to receive $17 million.
Though the Legislature approved the disbursement of funds, Gov. Rick Scott could still veto the measure before he signs the budget. This is unlikely, though, as he has also included the grant money in his proposed spending plan. The money can only be used for new construction and not to pay down existing debt.
The Key Largo district has earmarked half of the money for upgrades at its main treatment plant and for grinder pump installation on remote properties.
How to use the remaining funds is still undetermined.So far, spending it on a water reclamation system has been at the forefront of the district’s discussions. Such a system, however, carries an estimated $8.5 million price tag and has board members split.
Board member Andy Tobin said water reclamation falls outside the district’s purview. He said the money should only be used on viable sewer projects. Any unused money should be given to other entities still building an advanced wastewater treatment system, such as Islamorada’s system or the county’s Cudjoe Key project.
“I don’t want to spend money for the sake of spending money,” Tobin told the Free Press. “This is not free money.”
District General Manager Margaret Blank and Tobin had a back-and-forth during last week’s district board meeting about that matter. Blank said failing to use the money would hurt the district’s chances of receiving future funding from the state.
Board Chairman Steve Gibbs agreed with Blank and characterized water reclamation, though expensive, as the wave of the future.
State Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, who fought for the funding, said if the district is unable to use the money, an agreement could be worked out with other Florida Keys shareholders.
“We can get there,” she said. “It’s our $50 million.”
Failing to use the money this year wouldn’t hurt future attempts to collect the remaining $100 million in grant funds, she said.
Among other district proposals for using the $17 million are installing wind turbines and solar panels on district property to save energy costs, a monitoring system for the vacuum stations, or construction of an administration building, Gibbs said. The district currently rents an office building at mile marker 98.
District officials said they have until late summer to submit a list of projects for the money.
In other news, the district board was expected to review Blank’s contract at a meeting Tuesday, May 13. Results from the meeting were not available by press time.
Blank, who is currently paid $118,000 per year, is asking for a $12,000 raise with an annual 3 percent cost of living adjustment. She also wants the opportunity to receive an annual $10,000 merit bonus.
In February 2013, the district increased Blank’s salary from $111,000. At that point, she was seeking $125,000.
 
On Jan 10, 2014, at 5:25 PM, Raschein, Holly wrote:

 

Dear Paula,
Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me and share your letter.  I completely understand your concerns, this is a painful but also a necessary process to protect our waters.  My staff and I have been following the issue with the grinder pumps in the Lower Keys closely, and I have been urging our local government officials to work with our constituents to try to come to some sort of resolution that everyone can live with.  Trying to fund this massive project is also a huge hurdle we have to overcome and I am knocking down doors in Tallahassee, doing everything I can to bring more state funding to our sewer projects.
Thanks again for touching base.


Cheers! Holly

Dear Commissioners,

I live on Big Pine Key and received notice we are going to go on a Grinder Pump instead of the Gravity System. We attended the FKAA meeting but to our surprise, none of you were present, nor were you present at the North region meeting at the Vinyard. It was clear from the crowds reaction that the vast marjority did not want to be on grinder pumps and anger escalated because part of Port Pine Heights was switched to gravity while all other areas were not. The Florida Keys are unique in many ways from other locations where Grinder Pumps are used. This must be taken into consideration.

As you know, all of the keys and their waterways are areas of critical concern and most of Big Pine Key is a Federal Refuge. This is why the sewer plan was put in place to begin with, to treat sewage so that it would stop polluting our fragile islands and leach into waters, degrading our reefs, sea life and water quality. Nobody is disputing this. What we do take issue with is this completely short sighted plan to install hundreds of Grinder Pumps that will likely escalate these environmntal problems rather then correct them. Why remove septic tanks then switch to a system that will do just as much damage and cost everyone far more. Gravity is the only long term solution, grinder pumps are a temporary patch with long term implications that will continue to cost everyone money.

Grinder pumps have been a miserable failure in other parts of Florida where they backed up onto the land, waterways as well as homes during hurricanes and ultimately had to be replaced with a better system such as gravity or vacuum. We are at a far greater risk of that happening here and impacts will greatly outweigh those of the mainland due to our unique geography. We are on fragile islands at sea level, on rock and surrounded by water. Pipes break and leak and are not detectable on grinder pump systems and when we have another storm surge and the power is out for weeks, raw sewage will float right into the sea, from every direction. This is basically what happens now, with septic tanks. So why I ask you, would you choose to put so many neighborhoods on grinder pumps rather then gravity or even a vacuum system? The maintenance at so many hundreds of individual sites alone will be impractical if not impossible for the small FKAA staff. I can understand using a grinder pump when there is one home miles out from a neighborhood or a driveway several hundred feet long, then yes, it is appropriate, but we are talking about developed neighborhoods which are just like Port Pine Heights, that you chose to put on an inferior system, when we should ALL be on gravity.

Aside from the main and most important Environmental reason, there are far more reasons why these grinder pumps won’t work in the Keys.
*A great majority of residents are seasonal, grinder pumps fail more frequently when not in use for long periods, what will this cost the tax payers and homeowners? Will our sewer bills keep going up as these pumps constantly fail?
*Many homes are rented both short and long term, there is no way to control who will flush what.
*Children flush everything, do we now need childproof bathrooms?
*Many lock their gates for security reasons while away. How will FKAA get into the many locked gates when the grinder pump alarms start going off and the owners are up north or their electric gate won’t open due to a power outage?
*We had no power for three weeks during Wilma but we could still flush with a bucket of water, try that with a grinder pump and you will need rubber boots. Fill your bathtub so you have water during a hurricane? Not anymore, drain it and it’s a backup right into your tub and shower! Insurance won’t pay for damages or cleanup.
*We were told at the meeting FKAA would send out trucks with generators in the event of a long term outage!  LOL! This is not possible and you and FKAA know it. There is not enough staff or trucks to come close to addressing so many hundreds of grinder pumps during a power outage, this is pure insanity!
*Then there is the issue of having to pay an electrician to put in 220 so I can install “county equipment” on my property and lose use of 100 sq. foot minimum not counting the trench length, where I can no longer have trees. Who will ultimately pay for maintenance, repairs etc. long term? We were told FKAA would, is that what the folks in Key Largo were told too? Will this all fall on the proud new grinder pump owners in the future after the warranty expires or will it show up on everyones sewer bill?
The list goes on.

You keep telling us grinder pumps are a good system that you fully support, but much evidence to the contrary raises too many questions to be ignored and makes me wonder how you came to that conclusion. Just what is good about them? Money seems to be at the forefront as always, yet their seems to be plenty of it from the recent list of projects and purchases that you all have approved and put ahead of what should be priority number one, a valid GRAVITY SEWER STSTEM to protect our environment, waters and reefs so tourists will actually still have reason to come.

FKAA said they support Gravity in the Keys but need YOU to approve the funding which we have all been paying in taxes for many years. Our money is in your hands and it should be used for the number one priority issue in the Keys, a Gravity Sewer System to insure future land, water and reef quality.
This is the whole point of a sewer project!

I ask that you please choose Gravity Systems for ALL neighborhoods. It is by far, the best and only choice for the people and our Florida Keys.

Paula Cannon

I, the ex-lawyer from Alabama,

Sloan at Coco's

can be reached:

Sloan Bashinsky
keysmyhome@hotmail.com

 

About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also goodmorningkeywest.com and goodmorningbirmingham.com. If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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