ECUA Puts Brakes On Cantonment Eminent Domain Request For Sewage Lift Station

February 1, 2018

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) is temporarily putting the brakes on a request to exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire property on Well Line Road in Cantonment for a sewage lift station.

ECUA is asking the Escambia County Commission to delay action on their request, according to Nathalie Bowers, ECUA public information officer. She said ECUA is “getting closer” to an agreement with the property owner and is also looking at alternative property options.

In December, ECUA said it has been unable to reach an agreement with Robert Ross, the owner of 1.2 acres of unimproved land at 400 Well Line Road.  The utility said the property is needed to replace and upgrade ECUA’s “Lift Station 143″. In order to take the property under eminent domain, ECUA must first obtain the approval of the Escambia County Commission.

In January, the commission delayed action on the request to consider at a later meeting. Commissioners instead expressed grave concerns about the use of eminent domain while expressing the desire to find an alternative solution.

Ross told the commission he received a letter on four separate occasions wanting the property,  beginning with a half acre and finally the entire 1.2 acres with an offer of $2,000. He said he just “threw a number out there” of $40-50,000 in response.

Under eminent domain, Florida law allows a governmental entity such as ECUA to seize property for the public good and provide full compensation to the owner. ECUA is a public utility, established as a government agency by an act of the Florida legislature.


4 Responses to “ECUA Puts Brakes On Cantonment Eminent Domain Request For Sewage Lift Station”

  1. Red Rocket on February 1st, 2018 7:37 pm

    Anybody here attend any of the Sector Plan presentations last year???????

    One of the first phases was to 4 lane Well Line road and extend it all the way to Jacks Branch Road. With the water wells, underground well piping and lift station in the way, can’t help but think if they got that property, then station would be out of the way of road widening.

  2. Carolyn Bramblett on February 1st, 2018 5:47 pm

    Good news. No way is an acre of land, even if was in a swampy area, worth only $2000. If memory serves that’s good land and “eminent domain” is still an odious thing.

  3. Grand Locust on February 1st, 2018 10:55 am

    Thank you for running this story and letting the public give input to the commissioners and the utility. Common sense is returning to government and our local press is an important part of making this great nation work. In the end, each citizen must keep government in check when it becomes a bully. The idea that a lift station only has one location is simply some lazy government employees looking for an easy answer on the back of a citizen.

  4. Green Rocket on February 1st, 2018 10:40 am

    I think the county commissioners should just go ahead and tell the ECUA that they will not get approval to use eminent domain.

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