homepage logo

Sanibel sewer system moves into Phase 4

By Staff | Jun 10, 2015

The Sanibel Sewer Expansion Program is moving into Phase Four, which is the last portion to complete, as reported by a GAI associate Steve McDonald, to the Sanibel City Council Tuesday, June 2.

GAI was contracted by the City to provide alternative options for the final phase of Sanibel’s sewer program.

The program is “roughly” 99 percent complete, with 42 properties in Phase Four remaining to be converted from their current septic systems.

History of the Sanibel Sewer Expansion includes being centralized in 1974 and consolidated wastewater water in 1991.

Since the acquisition of the wastewater program, the City has proceeded with the expansion of wastewater collection, transmission, treatment and disposal.

The total construction expansion costs which remain is estimated at $1.2 million, which does not include easement, project management and administrative costs. There is a $120,000 SFWMD grant which has been expended for Phase 4’s engineering costs, whereas no City funds were used.

A Low Flow exemption has been granted to 28 properties, which will remain on septic for a temporary time period, which allows these properties to remain on its septic systems until it fails.

There are currently five recommended financial options available to fund Phase 4 funding.

Option A include full cost (uniform) applied equally to the 42 remaining properties, with no subsidy.

Option B has the full cost with 50-percent assessment subsidy due to environmental benefits. Option C includes a cap assessment at $10,000 with a balance subsidized for environmental benefits.

The Option D has a cap assessment at $6,800 (highest assessment from completed phases) provide a $10,000 subsidy per property from the general fund and balance from the sewer fund.

The final Option E is the cost of the service based for each distinct area, with no subsidy.

City engineer Keith Williams reported to the City Council the construction of Phase Four is estimated to take three offseasons, with the potential of two postseasons.

“We would like to see it get finished in two offseasons, not three,” said Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane.

The City Council passed to establish a more firm timeline of the project for its July meeting.

A request by Historical Museum and Village’s Dorothy Donaldson was passed by the City Council for the City to file an application with the Accessibility Advisory Council on behalf of the museum for a waiver to allow the facility to use the second floor of the Shore Haven building for administrative purposes without installing a chairlift.

“The reason we ask the City to be the applicant, is because the City owns the grounds,” Donaldson said. “The museum is looked upon as a third party and would be charged a $1,500 fee for the application. We will certainly work with the City to prepare the waiver request.”

The second floor will have the administrative offices and not be open to the public, which is the reason a chairlift would not be needed.

Donaldson said to install a chairlift, the cost will be estimated at $56,000.

Vice-Mayor Mick Denham voiced his concern if the City requests a waiver, can the City be liable to be sued?

“I can’t say the City would be completely insulated (from a lawsuit), but if we comply and request a waiver and the approval is granted (by the Accessibility Advisory Council), it would substantial insurance to be able to defend against one,” said Sanibel City Attorney Ken Cuyler.

The City Council liaison to the Historical Village, Councilman Marty Harrity, said if the second floor of the Shore Haven building is not accessible to the public, a chairlift is not needed.

“I think we all can live with this,” Harrity said.

The City Council also extended the Historical Museum’s agreement with the City for two additional one-year terms.

The City Council also recognized the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program Award winners, which included: Hayden Cummins, James Dowling, Allison Eicher, Dakota Phillips, Connor Tomlinson and Alec Worth.

Resolutions 15-047 was passed to approve budget moves, appropriating $25,000 in grant revenue from the Lee County Tourist Development Council for the Southern Blind Pass Beach Erosion Control project.

A scope of services for the Dark Skies Education Program and authorize staff to issue a request of proposals was passed.