North Hill Residents Protest Neighborhood Sewage Tank Proposals

Signs in  North Hill Neighborhood off Palafox St in Pensacola, protesting the proposed sewage center.
Signs in North Hill Neighborhood off Palafox St in Pensacola, protesting the proposed sewage center.

Little yellow signs stick out all over the North Hill neighborhood in Pensacola.

The message is clear: Stop Emerald Coast Utilities Authority. No sewage tanks, no foul odors, no tanks in neighborhoods.

The North Hill Preservation Association created the signs because members are upset about the proposed sewage tanks near Palafox Street.

“We’re going to be deposing,” said Malanie Nichols, president of North HiIl Preservation Association. “The engineers and board members of ECUA how they made this decision to put the tanks on that property without any public meetings, public notice or from [anything to the] public whatsoever.”

The company wants to build two tanks near its sewage lift station just around the corner from Palafox Street.

It said the tanks will remain empty unless there is an emergency. The possibility of such emergency leaves neighbors worried.

“ECUA is saying they will never be used but if they are used, they are going to smell,” Nichols said. “Just the sight of them is going to bring down property values to the nearby neighborhood.

“We are a century old neighborhood. If you can’t have property value, you can’t get loans. If you can’t save these properties, you can’t get a mortgage on them.”

Business owner William Dunn of Networks of Florida just moved into a property across the street and said he understands both sides.

“They have to put their tanks where they need to put them, so it’s not something they just decide they are going to up and do,” Dunn said. “You have to explain to the neighborhood the process.

“Just because you own the property doesn’t mean you have the right to do things,”

The case has been tied up in court for 10 months, and the group says they plan to see it through until the end.

“We’re fighting to the end,” Nichols said. “We’ve got donations, we’ve got plenty of money in the bank [and] we are going to take this all the way.”

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