CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Some Cape Coral residents are already upset they eventually have to switch to city water and sewer. Now, some people may be forced to give up their land for the controversial utilities expansion project. The city needs lots to build pump and lift stations.
One of the properties is next to Dick Wagner's house. They would build a lift station next door.
"I would certainly have a lift station in the corner of that property than to have a 7/11," he said.
City leaders are looking at six different lots in the Southwest 6 and 7. They want to buy the properties from landowners or swap land.
But if the property owner balks, the city will take what it needs through eminent domain. That means the city can legally take over the property, or a section of the property, for the UEP.
Homeowners are concerned about how much the UEP will cost them. But city leaders say at this point in time, it's too early to tell.
But councilman Kevin McGrail says if the city ends up buying these lots, the neighbors would benefit. He says the city could sell the land that's not used for lift stations, to neighbors like Wagner.
"If a chunk of that property is available to purchase at a reasonable price, I would be just as interested in purchasing it then as I was when we originally moved in here," Wagner said.
Construction on the UEP is expected to begin next summer.