Last week, the combined resources of the Florida Keys Wastewater Assistance Foundation, the Center for Independent Living of the Keys, the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District and BC Enterprises celebrated the completion of the first lateral hookup sewer connection for a qualified resident in Key Largo.
While the resident wishes to remain anonymous, Chair of the FKWAF, Ray Rhash, said, “This is a major milestone for the community, funding for low income homeowners is key to our success. The completion of the first lateral hookup underscores our commitment to Monroe County’s wastewater project.”
The ever-enthusiastic Secretary/Treasurer of the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District, Susie Hammaker, said with a smile, “This is near and dear to my heart, and it feels good to see progress fostered by organizations throughout the community working toward the common goal.”
As owner of BC Enterprises that worked with the FKWAF in providing the lateral hookup, Mark Boalch lives and breathes sewer connections in Key Largo and is well aware of the financial burden created by the situation.
“With an estimated 33 percent of all Monroe County households have an annual income of $35,000 dollars or less, our communities need an organization like the FKWAF to provide grant-funding assistance to qualified residents.”
The Center for Independent Living of the Florida Keys has partnered with the FKWAF to provide supplemental assistance to individuals with disabilities. Dr. Brenda Pierce, Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living of the Keys and the Vice Chair of the FKWAF stated that “while low income residents face extreme challenges in paying for the hook-up, low income citizens with disabilities are even further disadvantaged and face loss of their independence if they are unable to pay for the costs associated with staying in their homes. We are proud to partner with FKWAF in helping this population continue to live independently in the community.”
The Florida Keys Wastewater Assistance Foundation (FKWAF) was created as a non-profit corporation with federal 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in 2007 to address the 2010.5 mandate Keys-wide: to be a clearinghouse of trustworthy information, a communicator of challenges facing property owners, businesses, visitors and policy makers, and a resource generator and partnership builder, with low income homeowners its special target. It is estimated that the total cost will be approximately $939 million. For more information and to apply for assistance, please contact the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District at (305) 451-4019.
If you would like to make a donation to the FKWAF, please call Ray Rhash at (305) 747-0291.
Susie Hammaker, Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District Secretary/Treasurer, FKWAF directors Ray Rhash – Chair, Stephanie Scuderi, Brenda Pierce – Vice-Chair, BC Enterprises owner Mark Boalch. Photo courtesy of Randy Chaney. Susie, Ray, Stephanie, Brenda and Randy are members of the Upper Keys Rotary Club.