Fort Myers council hears complaints over Dunbar dump site

FORT MYERS, Fla. Residents angry over a former toxic dump site in Dunbar let their frustrations be known at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Environmental Protection Agency representatives gave a presentation on the site where arsenic was found in the soil 10 years ago. No hazardous levels of arsenic remain, according to the EPA, but many are upset they didn’t know about it until recently.

Pastor Willie Green, a civil rights activist who has lived in Dunbar since the 1950s, excoriated city leaders for failing to get the word out about the plot of land that sits near homes.

“Those people took an oath that sit behind that sacred desk to obey the Constitution of the United States, that of Florida, and of the charter of the city of Fort Myers, so help me God, live up to the constitution, live up to your oath,” Green said. “They have an obligation to tell those people.”

The city and the DEP are working to figure out what to do with the land, bounded by Henderson Avenue on the west, Midway Avenue on the east, Jeffcott Street on the south and South Street on the north.

Activists had planned to bring a soil sample from the site to the meeting. But they said their attorneys advised them not to, citing concern that it could be dangerous to expose others to it. Another test on the soil isn’t scheduled until 2018.

The council also approved the construction of a police department substation on 3585 Fowler St., adjacent to the site of the former Club Blu, where two were killed and 18 were injured in a July 2016 shooting. The club has since closed.

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