Congressional candidates seek pollution solution

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 22:43:58-04

5 candidates seeking represent Collier and Lee County in congress had similar visions to solving the pollution problem in Lake Ockeechobee.

Republicans Dan Bongino, Chauncey Goss, Francis Rooney, Democrat Robert Neeld, and write-in candidate David Byron debated the issue Monday at a forum in Naples.

"We had a lot of turnover in congress, that's hurt us a little bit," said Goss, who's run for this seat before.  "We haven't had total focus at the state level, now I think people are coalescing around this issue and I think that's good."

Goss, who is a Sanibel City Councilman says the pollution is not only hurting local tourism, but also small businesses in his community.

Neeld, a Democrat says instead of sending brackish water from Lake Ockeechobee down the Caloosahatchee River, impurities should be removed and the water should be sent south through the Everglades. 

But it could cost millions of dollars to raise Tamiami Trail so that water could pass under it.

"And US 41 is not the only problem, Highway 80 is also a problem.  It also needs to be elevated some, so at points water can flow south," said Neeld, who's running a fourth time for this seat.