Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

N3 Sewers: Project Update 6.23.17

June 24, 2017

Next Steps

Signs of survey markings are showing up throughout the neighborhood as the contractor gets submittals approved and permits pulled.  The first evidence of construction we see will be the directional boring for underground crossings at Bermuda Brook and the two Seclusion Drives.  This is shown on the N3 Phasing Plan June 2017 as Phase 1.  The rest of the project is planned to proceed in numerical sequence.


Got questions?

John Saputo, Construction Project Manager for Sarasota County is available to address any questions or concerns you may have.  He can be reached at (941) 650-0022 or email




N3 Sewers: Project Update 6.16.17

June 17, 2017

Information from John Saputo, Const. Proj. Mgr.


Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program Area N3

The Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program (PCSSRP) was developed in 2000 to protect public health and to improve water quality in Phillippi Creek by replacing individual septic systems and small private package waste water plants in many Sarasota County neighborhoods with central sewer service. Over 15,000 septic tanks will be replaced over the life of the project.

Approximately 200 residents will be connecting to central sewer in Area N3.  Area N3 is being designed as a hybrid gravity sewer system with two standard lift stations and two smaller lift stations within the project area. Homeowners will connect to the central sewer system using a conventional gravity lateral rather than maintaining individual low pressure units on each property as originally planned.

Award of the construction contract was April 25, 2017 to Spectrum Underground. The construction Notice to Proceed was given on May 23, 2017. Construction is slated to begin in late June. Completion of the project is scheduled for March of 2018.

Expect to see evidence of Survey Crews in the area over the next two weeks establishing Right of Way lines and property boundaries. The first signs of construction will be the directional drilling of forcemains for the North and South Seclusion Roads; that work should also be scheduled within the next couple of weeks.

(ed. note: Mr. Saputo has indicated that we can expect these update/advisories throughout the construction process.  Door hangers and roadway signage will also be provided as necessary.)

Phillippi Creek Event Tomorrow May 20th at SGCA

May 19, 2017

May 2017 Project Update

May 12, 2017


(You can access this page from the County website here:  Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program Area N3)

More N3 Neighbors choose xeriscape

April 15, 2017

The Feb 21st post discussed the many benefits of eliminating or reducing irrigation for turf grass and other “thirsty” yard plantings (scroll down and read the article – there are lots of good information links).  Our water bills will become even more sensitive to irrigation use once our sewer is installed… the sewer component of our bill will be approximately 150% of our water usage.  So, unless you have a separate irrigation meter or a well, water that is used on your lawn will be calculated as though it is treated at the sewer plant!

Here’s what some residents have done…

Take a ride along Tanglewood Dr and see what you think.  Some neighbors have completely replaced all sod grass, while others have replace portions of the lawn.  Another neighbor suggests using GroundCovers instead of grass.  Anything we can do will help the environment… and our wallets!

(These are just homes I’ve found on Tanglewood Dr.  If you know of others in the neighborhood send me photos and I’ll post them here)

What’s the latest on our sewer?

At the March 29 Budget Meeting the County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve $3 million to construct the sewers in our N3 neighborhood.  Staff tells us that the plans are final and all permits are in place.  The next step will be to approve and award the construction contract. The next BCC meeting is April 25th, but the agenda has not been posted. Hopefully our project will be presented at that meeting.

March 29, 2017 Budget Workshop

March 29, 2017

Message from our Neighborhood Committee Chairman

At today’s Budget Workshop the Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved a staff recommendation to advance the Septic System Replacement plan in Area N3. This vote was necessary because the county’s capital improvement plan is being reshuffled in order to cope with a shortall in surtax revenue, and some projects are being delayed. Today, our project survived.

I am pleased to report that Commissioner Alan Maio reached out to contact me soon after the commission voted and asked me let everyone know he had received our emails. He said he was glad that we did not overwhelm him with email, and more importantly, that none of us were insulting or rude or threatened to kick him out of office if he did not support our project. So to those of you who took the time to contact Commissioner Maio or any of the other commissioners, thank you for representing our neighborhood well.

I would also like to mention that Commissioner Hines responded promptly to the initial email I sent on behalf of the committee Monday evening, and it was he who introduced the motion today that kept our program in the capital improvement plan.

We owe thanks to all of the commissioners, and specifically to Mr. Hines and Mr. Maio, for voting to keep our sewer project going.

Thanks to those neighbors who took the time to email the commissioners, and thanks for being respectful.

Only one step remains: The county commission will be presented a construction contract for its approval, as soon as April. Then, at long last, we should see digging in the streets. I am sure there will be a lot of information in the coming months.

Best regards,
Peter Gentile
N-3 Neighborhood Committee



worth noting

Charles Hines is the only sitting commissioner that was involved in the months of discussion concerning our project.  He met with us several times during the process and  has been very supportive of our efforts throughout.  Comm. Alan Maio is one of the “new guys”, but seems genuinely interested in connecting with us in the neighborhood.  He is the Commissioner for District 4 (our district).


Are we on the chopping block?

March 27, 2017

Current status

The December 20 post discussed the last official update of our sewer project: “The design is 100 percent complete with all required permits.  The project is currently advertised for construction bids.  Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2017 with an approximate 9-month construction duration.”  (Additional information can be found in the PCSSRP Monthly Status Report.)

Budget shortfall

Your N3 Committee has been closely following the progress of our neighborhood sewer project.  At the Feb 17 Budget Workshop county staff presented a Capital Improvement Project Prioritization to the Commissioners and the bottom line is there is not enough money for all projects.  So, which ones to cut?  When the PCSSRP was was discussed, Commissioner Maio asked for a report on “literature that has been provided and the expectations of owners.”

Budget Strategy Workshop March 29

This coming Wednesday Mar 29 the County Commission is holding another Budget Workshop.  The meeting starts at 9:00 AM and is open to the public.  Here is  page 85 from the presentation commissioners will see:

What should concerned residents do?

  • You can email commissioners at and ask them to approve Option 3.
  • Commissioner Maio asked what our expectations are: Let him know we expect to begin this Spring and be completed by December 2017
  • Attend the meeting on Wednesday and speak during either of the two the Open to the Public segments (click here for meeting agenda).
  • If you can’t attend the meeting you can view it by going to “Televised Meetings.”

Presentation for March 29 Budget Workshop

Here’s the full Presentation Package (Phillippi Creek Overview starts on pg. 71).

3-29 Presentation


Help! My septic tank is failing!

March 22, 2017

I have recently heard this from several N3 neighbors.  The next thing I’m asked is “when are we going to get our sewers?”  The answer is SOON (I hope!)  But what to do in the meantime?  Well, you gotta do what you gotta do.  The good news is that you may be able to get some help with your repair bills.

Will the County pay for my septic repairs?

Maybe… here’s a reimbursement schedule from the county website:

You can find the complete document here: Property Owner’s Guide  (scroll down to Credit for Septic system Repair)

Sewer installation… when is SOON?

I have not gotten any updates since the December 20, 2016 post.  Here’s an excerpt from that article:

Go to the PCSSRP Monthly Status Report and scroll down to Area N3. Under “Next Major Milestones” we’re told that construction will likely begin in March 2017.  We know that the construction contract bids are currently being reviewed, so this is probably an accurate forecast.

We’re fast approaching the end of March, so the construction start forecast is probably no longer accurate.  As soon as I get an update I’ll post it here.


“Smart” water meters: Other communities

January 26, 2017

follow-up to the follow-up

I had a telephone conversation Wednesay morning with Beverly Yopp, Director of Pluris Customer Care.  She actully had been helping our neighbor on Tanglewood Drive since November.  She wanted to assure all of us that Pluris will always go the “extra mile” in addressing customer concerns.  We also discussed the potential benefits of the new automated meter infrastructure (“AMI”) and the personal web portal feature that will be available soon.  If there is enough interest in the community Pluris may hold a meeting at the community center to help us set up our personal portals.  Beverly can be reached at

How extensive is the “overbilling” problem?

The last post concluded with the question of what can we do as individuals to verify the accuracy of our smart meter?  First we need to determine just how big the problem is.  If it’s a one-in-a-million “black swan” occurrence how concerned should we be?  How much time, effort, and money should we individually invest on something that may never happen to us?  Let’s take a look…

Other communities experiences

There are dozens of stories of problematic “smart” water meters going back to the mid-2000’s.  Click on the blue links to look at the most recent:

  • Atlanta, GA. –  2011 – “Her bill spiked to more than $1,200 in November, then skyrocketed to $6,879 in December. Her latest bill is down to just $34.” (sound familiar?)  There’s more here and here.

Okay, but that was six years ago. The problems are fixed by now, right?  Apparently not…

and let’s not leave out…

And many, many more…

I have listed just a few of the communities having the same problems. Please do a little “surfing” for yourself and you’ll see just how widespread the problems are.  Here are a few search terms I used for my source documents:

  • smart water meter problems
  • Sensus water meter malfunctions
  • Tinley Park water meter problems
  • Chicago Tribune water meter investigation
  • DeKalb county Georgia water meter problems

November 2016 Update

December 20, 2016

Here is the latest update for CIP #55909 Area N3 sewers:


The PDF of this report can be found on the County website here. Notice that the “Project Description” states that our neighborhood will be served with two lift stations… there are actually four lift stations in the current design.

Additional Information

Go to the PCSSRP Monthly Status Report and scroll down to Area N3. Under “Next Major Milestones” we’re told that construction will likely begin in March 2017.  We know that the construction contract bids are currently being reviewed, so this is probably an accurate forecast.

New Residents

Quite a few new residents have moved into our neighborhood in the last couple of years.  If you have new neighbors near you, encourage them to visit this site and click on the “follow” link to get new information as it is posted (they can also email and I’ll add them to the distribution list).