At the City of Port St. Joe’s regular meeting on Sept. 19, county and city officials took a few minutes to celebrate the culmination of a deal that was a decade in the making.
Sandy Quinn, chairman of the board of county commissioners, and County Attorney Jeremy Novak presented the city with a check, finalizing the city’s purchase of the ESAD Enterprises sewer system, for which the county provided financial support.
“You’re on the doorstep, closing tomorrow, of the purchase of the Beaches (ESAD) Sewer System,” said Novak to the city commissioners. “We want to thank city staff and officials for collaborating and working with us on this for the past year.”
The finalization of the city’s purchase was a contingency established last November, when, after months of discussion, both Port St. Joe and Gulf County signed onto agreements that provided for the city’s purchase of the ESAD sewer system from its private owners with assistance in excess of $700,000 from the county.
The project has ultimately been the majority of a decade in the making and was the subject of several heated exchanges between the city and county.
The county’s agreement with Port St. Joe established a Sept. 30, 2023 deadline for the city’s finalized purchase and also provided for the conveying of the county’s easement for a lift station to be constructed in Beacon Hill to the city. The deadline allowed for the city to make necessary changes to the system, which would ultimately allow them to tie it into their existing sewer systems.
ESAD covers customers in the St. Joe Beach area.
This purchase is estimated to bring hundreds of customers to the city, a significant increase in revenue that they hope will allow them to abstain from raising sewer rates for the foreseeable future.