|Published:||May 27, 2010 9:41 PM EDT|
|Updated:||May 27, 2010 9:41 PM EDT|
Cape Coral, Fla - Some Lee County veterans are at war with each other.
The feud is over plans for a world-class military museum in downtown Cape Coral.
"There's nothing that gels with a world class museum," said Sean Dever, a retired Navy Officer
"We don't want someone coming in here telling us what to do," said Ralph Santillo, Founder of Veterans Foundation.
The two sides are battling it out over plans for a military museum and veteran
headquarters at the old Sweetbay.
"It needs to be a place of honor," said Dever.
Sean Dever is retried from the Navy.
He volunteered to design the original concept of the museum,
but is walking away from the project.
"The designed progressed, went from a museum to basically what I
consider something much different from a museum," Dever said.
Now he's sending a letter to the city and Community
Redevelopment Agency, expressing concern about the project.
He says ideas of a bar and gun shop in a museum is a legal
liability and the city should investigate further.
But Veterans Foundation founder Ralph Santillo is fighting back.
"There's nothing in that letter that's in our plans," Santillo said.
Santillo says talk of putting in a bar and gun shop is just that-- talk.
"It was something that was in conversation. It never got pass discussion," he said.
And he stresses the larger space is not designed to be just a museum.
"This is our headquarters. It is not a museum. It's a museum
inside a headquarters," Santillo said.
He goes on to say the idea to put in shops is to generate income to help
fund counseling services for veterans.
He adds funding for the project is coming from grants and private
donations, not tax payer money.
But Dever remains skeptical.
"I'm against doing it the way they are doing it," he said.
The Veterans Foundation hopes to open its new headquarters and museum