Civic League of PSJ
Answering the article in the May "Happenings", I would respectfully submit the following:
1. Can a city expand its sewer systems outside of its corporate limits? Specifically does Titusville have this ability?
The PAC answered: Yes and went on to quote Special law, Laws of Florida 63-2001, Section 47, Article III (which are local Titusville ordinances, always superceded by Florida State Statutes, provides that Titusville can construct sewer systems outside its city limits. The PAC [quoted] several more laws and Statutes, but neglected to quote the laws in their entirety.
Quoting from Titusville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 21 Utilities, Section 21-1 (a): If by reason of annexation laws the property cannot be currently annexed, however, the property is contiguous to a parcel or parcels that is contiguous with the city limits and has a signed service agreement which contains an agreement to annex, the city in its discretion may elect to enter into an agreement to provide the service conditioned upon the owner annexing the property at the time becomes contiguous and paying the required fees and complying with the conditions of a service agreement. In the event the property owner requests service under this provision, the owner shall pay a fee of two hundred fifty dollars (250.00) for processing and approving the request plus the applicable annexation fee.
Continuing to quote from the article:
2. If the answer to question 1 is yes, do they need the consent of the county in unincorporated areas, or the city if expanding into another city, or the property owners?
The PAC goes on to further quote Florida Chapter 180.06, leaving out the most crucial paragraph, which is the last paragraph of the referenced statute.
(9.) However, a private company or municipality shall not construct any system, work, project or utility authorized to be constructed hereunder in the event that a system, work, project or utility of a similar character is being actually operated by a municipality or private company in the municipality or territory immediately adjacent thereto, unless such municipality or private company consents to such construction.
Port St. John already has a functioning sewage plant supplying the front of Port St. John and all businesses in Port St. John with sewer. For the benefit of those people who have not read the proposed City of Port St. John Charter, it is clearly stated that. the county will continue to maintain the existing sewer system.
This plant can be expanded to supply all the citizens of Port St. John. Although provision was made for the maintenance of the existing sewage plant in the proposed city charter, the PAC has not brought to the attention of the public this existing system, because it makes null and void any sewer/annexation argument they put forth. Does anyone think that the county will give permission to Titusville to come into Port St. John with sewers when there is an existing system in place?
Titusville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 21 "Utilities" says Titusville does not have the water supply to give service beyond Kings Highway or the North side of Ranch Road, and cannot enter into any area covered by Annexation laws. Without a signed service agreement and absent water resources, Titusville cannot come into Port St. John with sewers. If anyone has any doubt that water and sewer issues are not connected, next time you flush your commode, try it without the use of water.
The state and county, for reasons of health and safety, have asked the City of Cocoa to provide an emergency water supply to Titusville. At the same, time, by interlocal agreement, Titusville has agreed not to attempt to extend their services beyond the boundaries of Kings Highway or the north side of Ranch Road. The PAC states that Cypress Woods south of Kings Highway is sewer. True, but as the PAC knows, since they were responsible for the determination of the proposed overlay boundaries for the proposed City of Port St. John, the people on the north side of Ranch Road will not live in the proposed City of Port St. John. They have not asked for or signed an annexation agreement with Titusville, therefore, no matter which way the vote goes they stay unincorporated.
To further address the Happenings article, the PAC says "A city government would be a substitute government that everyone voting in PSJ would elect". No matter what you call it, another layer of government be it "substitute" or city, it is still another layer of government with all the attendant expenses associated with bureaucracy.
"We now have four County Commissioners who we do not vote for, who make decisions for us everyday. We only vote on one commissioner out of five". So says the PAC. Our county commission form of government has been in place for a long time, and a city government would not affect it one way or another. We will still have only one commissioner to represent us.
Richard Mickle, The Civic League of PSJ, Inc.
Pd Pol Adv by Civic
League of Port St. John, Inc