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"We're not going to go down with out a fight"; some say no to SR.82 recycling plant

On Thursday, Lee County held a town hall, so people could learn more about their project to purchase land on State Road 82 where they'd build a recycling facility.
Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 21, 2024

GATEWAY, Fla. — On Thursday, Lee County held a town hall, so people could learn more about their project to purchase land on State Road 82 where they'd build a recycling facility.

Nearly 300 people wore red to the town hall in opposition to the county's project.

Read more on their opposition here.

Fred Russo wore red to the meeting and has lived in Pelican Preserve for 20 years. He said his property backs up to where the facility would be.

Russo said, "It doesn't make any sense to put a recycling place next to a residential community."

He said, Thursday's meeting isn't enough.

"It's the commissioners way of placating the community allowing us to ventilate and repeat all of our concerns we told them two weeks ago. I suspect they will not react to this at all," Russo said.

Lee County Assistant Manager Christine Brady said they want to hear directly from the people who live nearby.

She said, "To give people the opportunity to go around and talk to the different subject matter experts, learn more about this project and engage with our team."

Brady wants residents to know the facility is indoors and not for wet trash, five percent of the recycling will come from outside of the county, the site will be 1,000 feet away from the property line with a berm in between, and they estimate that up to 200 trucks will travel through that location daily.

She said according to the county's research, this location's their best option.

"We've looked at property for about the last 18 months. We've looked along the Alico corridor, and we chose this property because it's already zoned industrial," Brady said.

If the county doesn't purchase the land, they said other businesses can come in such as an automobile repair service, manufacturing companies , a concrete plant or a trucking terminal.

Find more information on the project here.

Russo and and many others said their explanations aren't enough.

"We're not going to go down with out a fight," Russo said.

The county plans to have another town hall before the commissioners vote on purchasing the land in early May.