Charlotte Co. residents picket proposed landfill
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - In cowboy fashion, ranchers and farmers are doing whatever it takes to protect their land.
"It's going to ruin everything south of it," said Robert Fussell, a rancher. "It's going to make buzzards fly and land stink."
Clark Keller, who lives on five acres, added, "It's a get rich-quick-scheme and i don't think we have to suffer the impacts from it."
They're boycotting the Calusa Green Regional Landfill. The proposed site would be about nine miles south of downtown Punta Gorda, off State Road 31.
"We want to protect our rural heritage," said Fred Hill, the organizer, and chairman of the Southwest Florida Rural Landowners Association.
Hill fears the 540 acre dump, that would serve area counties, would threaten his and other ranchers' livelihoods
"It's something we want to protect for our families, our grandchildren for years to come," added Hill. "So, they in their lifetime never have to worry about a landfill."
Their biggest concern is that it could pollute the city's water supply.
"Shell Creek provides the city of Punta Gorda with its water supply and we don't know what kind of contaminants would come out of this landfill," said Ruth Bromberg, with the Greater Charlotte Harbor Group of the Sierra Club.
Last month, the county's planning and zoning board unanimously rejected the project. But commissioners are expected to make the final decision in the next six months.
Fox 4 reached out to one of the developers, Bruce Laishley, but he did not return a call for comment.