AVON PARK - A handful of Avon Park's older homes will be exempt from sewer capacity and connection fees.
The Avon Park City Council voted 4-0, council woman Brenda Giles was not present, to grant a waiver of fees to get connected to the city sewer system and currently rely on septic systems during the regular meeting March 10.
The waivers amount to $1,250 inside the city limits, $1,563 outside the limits and $250 to $500 connection charges. City Manager Julian Deleon said the city doesn't have an inventory of the number of homes currently serviced by septic systems, but there are about 4,000 accounts on city sewer.
Deleon said since he began with the city as manager in March 2011, there have been only about four older homes that the owner wanted to connect to city sewer, but decided against it due to the $1,250 capacity fee charged. He said most residents are already connected and this would help get everyone online.
"This is a small packet of residences that have not been connected. I think that when a property changes hands, this is usually where the new owners inquires about connecting," he said. "This program is intended to promote public health, by getting away from septic systems, where city sewer is readily available. We would not be mandating connection, just making it easier by waiving the residential capacity fee."
The waiver would be for residential single-family units or duplexes "constructed prior to the year 2000 of which the property owner desires to connect to available city sewer for a period which expires five years from the effective date."
Mayor Sharon Schuler told the council an attempt to annex any of those older units or newer structures outside the city limits should be made.