North end of Esc. County weighs in

July 27, 2006

coffeeRick,

I liked your introduction to the ECUA debacle very much, but there is a lot more to the story.

Check the total residences in approved subdivisions for Santa Rosa and compare that total to the same number for approved subdivisions for Escambia County. 

Now ask yourself:

  • Why are so many more approved for Santa Rosa? 
  • Why is there a net population loss for Escambia County? 
  • Why are net student registrations dropping in Escambia County? 
  • Why is Wal-Mart closing its automotive services departments early everyday?  Why are there so many help wanted signs for low to moderate income workers?

Here is why:

Many “Work-Force Workers” (those earning $7 to $17 per hour who make up the majority of the workforce) are very mobile.  When they can’t find a place to live or an affordable place to live, they move away toward areas that offer a better “value” balance between wages and housing, and a greater availability of housing.

By many estimates, Escambia County is short 8,000 to 12,000 residences.  Yeah I know there is a glut in the Real-Estate market, but those homes are not “Work-Force” affordable when you do the math on current household wages!

There are only four sewer treatment plants in Escambia County (including the beach).  All are old, out of date, and operating at over 87% of capacity.  Building Permitting Policies are a shambles, and appear to strongly favor a few local developers.  

Thus; no sewage service, no construction – housing prices go up.

  • No construction, no housing. (at least not enough housing, and the affordability doesn’t work with wages.)
  • No housing, no workers.  (population loss)
  • No workers, no children.  (falling school registration rate)
  • No workers, construction, housing; failing tax-base.

 – driven hwy 29 lately?

Bottom Line:

The county infrastructure is falling apart, and affordable homes are virtually non existent.

  • Will there be a moratorium on construction in Escambia County because of a lack of sanitary infrastructure?

Not likely.  Because there are few homes being built.  The economy is just slowing down drastically.  The age of A/R for many companies is rising sharply.

Check it out.

I appreciate the job you are doing!

Jack Moran

“Through out history, nothing advances civility or promotes enterprise within a community, like the Arts.”
–  Sir Wallace Moran, OSJ

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