Let’s be proactive, Pinecrest — Vote YES on water vote

Let’s be proactive, Pinecrest -- Vote YES on water vote

Katie Abbott.

Safe and clean water out of the faucet. It’s something the majority of us take for granted. There are roughly 2,000 Pinecrest residents who don’t have this ability. Their water is well water, and they’re dependent on a costly filtration system to clean it.

These residents spend thousands of dollars on a filtration system, pay multiple testing costs annually, buy bottled water, and cannot flush their toilets when the power goes out. All those things are inconvenient. However, these are not the reasons why I’m voting YES on the water vote. Things have changed in the last 20 years. We now know the extent of potential salt water intrusion and septic tank failure, and how they might affect our well water supply in the future. Also, streets on well water don’t have fire hydrants. Fire hydrants! What day and age do we live in where our neighbors don’t have access to a fire hydrant in case of an emergency?

It wasn’t until my campaign last year that I learned about the issues. I knew the basics, but didn’t have the details, and in all honesty, for awhile I sat firmly on the fence regarding funding. I understood both sides. Since then, I’ve researched. I’ve talked to many residents about it, including those who don’t bother testing their well water and those who showed me their well water’s testing reports which included chemical intrusion. No one can deny that the situation stinks (hopefully not literally… yet).

Should Pinecrest residents be funding this? No, it’s a County utility. However, the cost of our Village taking preventative measures to avoid potential environmental impact problems is priceless. I can promise you if there is a future environmental disaster within the well water system, ALL Pinecrest homeowners and property values would be affected. If word got out that Pinecrest’s water infrastructure was contaminated, we would collectively, as an entire village, be affected. Having a complete and safe water system in Pinecrest would be a benefit to ALL.

We have talked about water for 20 years. Think about all of the time, effort, and money that has gone into that. The problem is not going to go away, and it’s only going to get more expensive to complete. All we’ve been doing is kicking the can further down the road. It IS going to have to be fixed, hopefully before an environmental catastrophe.

The final reason I am voting YES is because that’s who we are- we help each other out when our neighbors are in need. Pinecrest incorporated in 1996 because we didn’t feel we were getting our fair share from the county. This is just another example of why Pinecrest needs to step up and solve this issue for ourselves once and for all.

Pinecrest will continue to look for alternate sources of funding, including local and state grants. In addition, our local state representatives are quite aware of the problem and are going to try to help us secure funds. Florida representative Javier Fernandez came to our water meeting and said that in fact, passing a bond would show the state good faith, resulting in a better chance of getting aid.

We’ve never gotten to the point of a water referendum, that in itself is a win. Let’s let the informed voters speak their mind. Please research the objective information available from the Village’s web site. Wouldn’t it be great if the majority of us decided to invest in the future of Pinecrest’s infrastructure and our neighbors?


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3 Comments on "Let’s be proactive, Pinecrest — Vote YES on water vote"

  1. Rhonda Goodman | March 5, 2019 at 9:39 am | Reply

    Gee this is a repeat of your post on February 22, 2019.

    I respond again to your post Ms. Abbott:

    Perhaps the Village should have been looking for funding instead of quietly putting this to a vote to benefit a minority not the majority.

    As to your number–2000 residents on well water–that does not appear to be accurate.

    Former council member Bob Ross reported in his opinion piece that there are 742 properties still on well water lacking access and 580 who have access and have not connected.

    The vote should be NO on the bonds.

  2. Ms. Abbott says “Should Pinecrest residents be funding this? No,” and on that we agree. When her family bought their home for just under $1.5 million 11 years ago they knew or should have known that it lacked County water. There is nothing to prohibit her and the other 13% of homes in Pinecrest from establishing a special taxing district so that the $15 million cost of this project would be borne only by those who will benefit from it. Ms. Abbott goes on to say, “The final reason I am voting YES is because that’s who we are- we help each other out when our neighbors are in need.” I am sorry, Ms. Abbott, but if you can afford to pay $1.5 million for a house, then you are not “in need”. Such an appeal for sympathy is (looking for the right adjective) disrespectful. My family and I will all vote “NO” on your request for a handout so that we can continue to give to charities we believe really are in need.

  3. I agree this rushed “Special Vote” must be voted NO. And if Mr. Lemos comment is correct, I am very disappointed that a representative I voted into office is pushing this vote for what appears to be a very selfish reason.

    There was no “urgency” for this having not been included on a regularly scheduled County voting day. These special 750 residents were hoping that this mail in ballot, at whatever additional cost to the Village, would be their saving grace – hoping that there would be a minimal turnout and their small numbers would prevail. I am so very happy to see that this is getting a LOT of attention. I truly hope yet another tax burden is voted down.

    For our current Council members, what is the cost to your constituents for this very unnecessary Special Vote? Is this what you consider prudent use of taxpayer money?

    All these property owners knew of their water source when they purchased their properties. $15 million spread across 750 homes is $20,000. As other voices have said, set up a special taxing district and let them pay for the water lines themselves if they are so concerned about their water.

    This must be a NO vote.

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