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Fort Myers City Council approves purchase of Dunbar sludge site

City completes controversial land purchase
Posted at 11:37 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 23:37:58-05

FORT MYERS, Fla — The city of Ft. Myers will pay $45,000 for three parcels of land on a controversial site.

On Tuesday city council approved the purchase of the plots along Jeffcott and South Streets. Crews are completing a months long project removing toxic sludge from the site.

The city dumped by product from a wastewater treatment plant in the area during the 1960’s.

“Reviewing the reports from the EPA, it’s not toxic like people thought it was,” said Councilman Kevin Anderson.

He’s confident the area is free of the waste.

The city wants to build a park or green space in the purchased lots.

“Another option might be for it to be a retention area, and a third option would be if people would be interested in buying the lots and building homes,” said Anderson.

But some people living near the site feel the city may be jumping the gun on the land deal.

“We need to worry about getting this stuff out, getting everything out, and compensating the people who have had great damage done to them,” said Community Activist Anthony Thomas.

Thomas is involved in a lawsuit against the city over the health problems some people have suffered from the sludge.

4-In-Your Corner looked up the assessed value of one of the parcels of land, and the Lee County Property Appraiser had it listed for $8.

City Councilman Fred Burson says the city bought the property at the current market rate.