Regarding FKAA’s most recent threats to folks who do not connect to the sewer system within 30 days of a notice to connect or who refuse FKAA demands to “grant” an easement: Just say no. No easement ever, hook up in about a year.
We’ve checked with local legal counsel who say that despite FKAA’s written and verbal threats, FKAA has no legal authority to require the easements or to penalize people who refuse to grant them. Counsel gave the following opinions:
1. The Florida Administrative Code requires that FKAA “…shall maintain ownership
and responsibility for all components of the pressure sewer system.” The law does not allow or enable a private citizen to own any component of the system. Therefore, FKAA cannot use the threat of requiring the homeowner to purchase and maintain the pumps in order to coerce an easement.
2. The Monroe County Code Section 20-105 (e) requires FKAA to make the sewer
connection available at the homeowners’ property line in the public right of way. It does not authorize FKAA to place the sewer connection on private property, nor authorize the demand of an easement from homeowners.
3. FKAA has threatened property owners with monetary fines, and even DOH condemnation of their homes if they don’t hook up to the system promptly. FKAA and Monroe County do not have legal authority to require connections within 30 days. Florida Statute 381.00655 provides that homeowners have one year to connect, if their onsite system is working properly, or 90 days to connect if it requires repairs. Although counties may adopt their own ordinances concerning hook up schedules, these must be consistent with 381.00655, Florida Statutes. See, 381.0016, Florida Statutes.
FKAA’s demand letters threaten things actually beyond their legal authority if homeowners refuse to do things not required by law of them. FKAA’s actions appear to be coercive, a violation of the public trust, and feel a lot like extortion.
Say “No easement, ever.” Take a year to connect. Less sewage effluent will then go into the shallow wells while the deep well is completed.
for Dump the Pumps, Inc.