A divided county commission voted Tuesday to set the maximum assessment for residential sewer projects at $6,000 — until the money runs out.
A plan to spend up to $29 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, includes one septic-to-sewer project off Fort Island Trail near Crystal River.
It also caps at $6,000 the assessment homeowners would pay for a septic-to-sewer project and set aside $3 million to cover costs that exceed the capped assessment amount.
Commissioners had no issues with the list of 14 projects, but Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr. and Chairman Scott Carnahan opposed using the federal funds to help cover residential septic-to-sewer costs because it wouldn't be fair to those who paid higher assessments in the past or may pay higher in the future when the funds run out.
Commissioners Holly Davis, Jeff Kinnard and Ruthie Davis Schlabach, however, supported using the funds to help pay down sewer assessment costs.
Nearly all the 14 projects on the ARPA list are regional wastewater or water extensions. It has one septic-to-sewer project for Dixie Shores and Crystal Isles, two communities off Fort Island Trail. County officials said adding these communities will complete sewer projects in that area of Fort Island Trail.
Commissioner Jeff Kinnard rents in Dixie Shores and is building a house there. He voted with the majority in approving the ARPA plan.