CHIPLEY - At Thursday's workshop, Chipley City Council woman Linda Cain vocalized her concern regarding the possible financial strain on residents as city staff searches for funding sources to cover the $13.5 million effluent disposal project.
"So, we're going to do a $15 million project, on the backs of our citizens," she questioned City Administrator Dan Miner.
If the City does not receive any grants to fund the project, residents could see an increase approaching $47 per month, "which will approximately double the current cost," according to loan repayment documents.
"In any case, it seems we need to find some sort of relief for the citizens of Chipley," said councilman Brett Butler.
But the $47 is, only if the City does not receive any grant funding - something that Miner believes will not be the case.
"We will be making applications to (Department of Environmental Protections) this year ... we're looking at $4 million that we're going to apply for that we hope we'll get in August."
However, when Washington County Board of County Commissioners applied for $5 million from the state to help offset costs, former governor Rick Scott denied the request moments before he left office.
Miner said the city has "a good commitment" from DEP on the $4 million grant, as the department had funded more than $2 million for the 485-acre land purchase.
"That's a start to this whole operation," he said optimistically, noting the City is also working with United States Department of Agriculture.
"We've already committed, so we can keep going back and forth in regards to it, but we really have to put our heads together and figure out what we need to do now and moving forward in the best interest" of the city and the residents," Chipley Mayor Tracy Andrews said, interjecting between Cain and Miner.
The council's discussion concluded with a commitment to seeking out grant funding and an experienced grant writer.
"I'm open to any suggestions that y'all have," Miner responded. "We have an issue that needs to be solved."