ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- City leaders have given the green light to start the designs on a new sewer system in an area west of King Street.
Walk the streets of West St. Augustine and you'll notice vacant buildings, empty lots and little to no storefronts.
Longtime resident and chairman for West St. Augustine Community Redevelopment, Greg White, agrees something needs to be done to revive an area that's been neglected for so long.
"It means everything, I've been here ever since the sixth grade," said White.
To make that happen the first thing the area needs is a brand-new sewer system.
"Without proper infrastructure and sewer, it's an impossibility to get any franchise to come to West Augustine," said White.
The plan passed its first hurdle during a city commission meeting last night when leaders voted unanimously to start design plans.
The first phase will run from Volusia Street to King Street and then west to St. Johns Street and east to Rodriguez Street.
The estimated price tag is at least $16 million.
"We'll create a financing system that every time a new business customer connects, it will pay their proportionate share of the construction," said John Regan, St. Augustine city manager.
According to Regan, they're still discussing how to pay for the project.
While there is still a long way to go, White agrees, it's a step in the right direction for a project that's been 13 years in the making.
"We have a positive outlook that it's going to happen soon. I don't believe we're going to kick the can down the road this time," said White.
The city commission will reconvene sometime in October to discuss construction start dates. Regan says the project will take about a year to complete.