LEE COUNTY, Fla. - It's back to the drawing board in a contentious battle over the Ceitus barrier. Once located near the intersection of Old Burnt Store Road and Ceitus Parkway, it's been part of a bitter fight between Cape and county leaders. And today's meeting may be causing more frustration.
Pine Island and Cape Coral residents may not agree on what's to be done with the North Spreader Canal, but after this meeting, they can agree on one thing:
"It's kick the can down the road again." "This is a meeting about nothing."
This special meeting involved two representatives from the city, Mayor John Sullivan and councilman Kevin McGrail, and two representatives from Lee County commissioners,
John Manning and Ray Judah.
Both parties had not met since May. In May, both decided to wait six months while the county conducted its own environmental study to the tune of $500,000.
Now, the counties representative says he needs more time to collect data. And the meeting was left at that.
"We're collecting data thats politically motivated," said Cape Coral resident David Scott.
Cape residents say a barrier is not necessary and there are other options for protecting the environment.
But many Pine Island residents are standing with the county, saying a barrier is needed here to protect Matlacha Bay from pollutants and an increase of damaging fresh water.
"No one has suggested any solution other than a barrier. All these other things that are being discussed dodge the issue," said Pine Island resident Phil Buchanan.
But the city worries dragging this out even longer is hurting taxpayers. "I dont even know how much Cape Coral has spent but I would imagine its several million dollars so far," said Mayor John Sullivan.
In the past, the county has threatened to sue Cape Coral over the barrier. But there was no specific mention of doing that at today's meeting.
At this time it's not known when both parties will try to meet again.