Bids in on Spring Lake sewer project and are much higher than expected

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New at Five – A Charlotte County community is having sticker shock! Brand new bids on a mandatory project to switch from septic tanks to the county sewer system are much higher than expected. The area is known as Spring Lake, which connects to Charlotte Harbor. WINK News Reporter Dave Culbreth shows us how people are reacting.

“This project needs to go away,” says Cynthia Roe, who has lived in the Spring Lake area for years.

“We’re asking what exactly is the reason that they’re forcing these sewers on everybody,” added Scott Andricheck who formed a group called “Save Our Sewers”. It consists of people who live in Port Charlotte where Charlotte County Utilities is planning on converting 1850 homes from septic tanks to sewers. Late last week bids were officially received by the county and the cost went up.

“Twenty seven million versus nineteen million,” said Bruce Bullert, who is the engineer on the project for Charlotte Co. Utilities. Homeowners have been told they’re going to have to pay $500 a year for 20 years for a total of $10,000. “We’re going to look at everything possible to decrease this cost but in the long run the $10,000 assessment is not going to be increased,” ensured Bullert. He says one reason for the difference in bids is that the economy is better now than when the contractors first estimated the cost.  “There wasn’t as much volume of work out there so they were more inclined to cut their prices down to a lower value in order to be the low bidder.” Bullert says they’re going to try to get lower bids from the contractors.

“Well, that’s very nice,” countered Andricheck. “But if it’s as competitive as they say it is they’re not gonna be able to cut it down by more than what, five percent, maybe ten percent at most.”

“I would say the majority of the neighbors are very unhappy about it,” Roe added.

Bullert says they’re also trying to get more grants from the state.


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