OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Millions of dollars will be pumped into a community in Osceola County.
The community of Marydia is near the Osceola Parkway, but many residents there said they've been ignored while the county has grown around them.
However, that is about to change.
Leona Lewis has lived in the community for 37 years, and said one thing she's waited decades for is about to happen.
"Sometimes the water comes up through there, and that's why the grass is so green," said Lewis.
This grandmother of 19 has dealt with an overflowing septic tank for years, and now, money is headed to help her and 1,000 other families who live there.
WFTV noticed that there's a patch of green grass with a septic tank underneath in every
backyard in the neighborhood. That's about 500 houses that are going to need an upgrade.
Toho Water Authority has pledged $1 million
and the county pledged almost a half-million dollars in grant money, but the sewer project isn't the local government's only new commitment there.
"I feel like finally Marydia's time has come," said community leader Pastor Abdoula Holley.
Holley took WFTV to an old
firehouse that's now being transformed into a community center, where programs will include sports, tutoring and computer classes.
"Like a small paradise for this community that for years hasn't had an exit or outlets for people to do things that are constructive," she said.
The work is the result of another million-dollar investment from the county, but in a neighborhood dotted with homes that are more than 100 years old, residents said the progress is way overdue.
"Marydia is a little country town, but we're coming up now. Thank you Lord," said Lewis.
County leaders said they hope to have the sewer upgrades done by the end of the year, and the community center could be open by the end of the summer.