FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lee County filed a foreclosure lien against MW Horticulture. The county plans to take the company to court on May 27th.
A Lee County official says they are going forward with the suit due to MW Horticulture having been found guilty by the Lee County Hearing Office for violating numerous county ordinances.
MW Horticulture says the "violation" is for not removing debris from their Hurricane Irma site, which they say was removed in December 2019.
The Hurricane Irma site on Howell Avenue and East Street is one mile away from their other location on I-75 and Bayshore Road.
MW Horticulture says before clearing the site completely in December, they were ordered to clean it up by early July 2019 but missed the deadline.
The company says they've had to pay the county $200 a day since then.
In August of 2019, Lee County also filed a lawsuit against the recycling plant, which they said had a history of fires.
The county said the company was in violation due to debris pile up, leading to several fires, air, and water quality issues.
In their statement Saturday, MW Horticulture says Lee County stopped them from grinding piles "as needed in order to make a waste product into a usable sustainable organic mulch and compost product," which is why they weren't able to to meet the July 2019 deadline.
MW Horticulture states they asked the county and fire departments to cover the Hurricane Irma site with soil, so it would not catch on fire, but they were ignored.
In November of 2019, the recycling company filed a counterclaim against Lee County after the county sued them in August for the Hurricane Irma debris.
In their suit, MW Horticulture claimed the county had multiple chances to help them get rid of the pile by allowing them to grind it or use fire equipment to fight the flames.
MW Horticulture said they were allowed to store it at the site, but the county didn't let them grind because it was against zoning.
Their Saturday press release states they spent thousands of dollars in equipment, labor, and fuel to comply and manage the site for more than a year.
Since the site was cleared in December 2019, MW Horticulture adds the county hasn't inspected the property for its completion and has been fining them the $200 penalty fee.
MW Horticulture says they believe "that this is an erroneous foreclosure and that MW and their Landlord will prevail. This property is NOT the property that has had its bout with recent arson fires, and this property has been cleared of all debris since December 2019, as stated."
The company says the recent arson fires are under investigation.