A letter from our N3 Committee Chairman:
At the regular Sarasota County Commission meeting of Dec. 11, the commissioners unanimously voted to direct the county staff to begin designing a “hybrid gravity sewer system” for our N-3 Area.
This vote means that the grinder pump proposal is dead. You may now feel free to take down your “Dump the Pumps” sign (if you still have one).
Wednesday’s vote was the culmination of more than a year of work by your neighborhood committee to get the county to reconsider its original plan to install grinder pumps at each of our homes. In the end, we are getting a system that is not only superior to the grinder pumps, but may well be better even than the vacuum system that originally seemed like the preferable alternative.
By going back to the drawing board, the county utilities staff and consulting engineers determined that the “hybrid gravity system” would answer many of our complaints about the grinder pumps and be cost-effective in our neighborhood. As we have outlined previously, under this proposal there will be 6 to 10 mini lift stations in manholes in the public right-of-way throughout the neighborhood.
The adoption of this proposal was a case study in citizen involvement and government responsiveness. The committee diligently gathered information and mobilized the neighborhood; the commissioners welcomed us and listened to our concerns; and finally the county staff went the extra mile to come up with a much improved plan.
The committee wishes to thank the county commissioners and the utilities staff for heeding our objections and taking the time to develop an alternative proposal. And you, our neighbors, deserve thanks for following this issue, placing signs in your yards, attending the public meetings at the community center, and most importantly, attending the County Commission meeting in February carrying signs.
The county utilities staff deserves particular praise for subjecting themselves to repeated grillings by the N-3 Committee, never losing their cool, and then coming up with an innovative plan that exceeded our expectations. We are fortunate in Sarasota County to have such dedicated and professional civil servants. We look forward to working with them through the planning and construction phases.
Stay tuned for more information. As the project proceeds, you will continue to receive email from the committee and from the Sarasota N3 Sewers website.
Peter Gentile, Chairman
N3 Neighborhood Committee