MW Horticulture seeks extension to clear debris, misses Thursday deadline

Will a local company get another chance

Thursday is the deadline for MW Horticulture Recycling Facility to get rid of a mulch pile sitting at its sit in North Fort Myers. But a few hours ago, MW Horticulture requested two more months to get rid of the debris from Hurricane Irma.

Now, MW Horticulture is waiting for an answer.

The view for people living next door is a smokey, smoldering mulch fire made up of Hurricane Irma debris. Six months ago, the owners said the pile was twice as high and spanned to a pine tree a considerable distance away. You could not even see the lake back there.

MW Horticulture said it took on the debris to help the community and told the county it would need more time to haul it off safely. That is why it is not done by the Thursday deadline.

MW Horticulture is asking for a two-month extension. Lee County wants to start fining MW Horticulture $200 a day starting immediately until the debris is gone.

Denise Houghtaling, the owner of MW Horticulture, said they have been processing the pile and hauling it out as fast as they possibly can. The fines would only impede their progress.

“It’s not like we’re saving money by requesting an extension,” Houghtaling said. “It’s costing us money every day that we’re here, but it’s the safest thing to do.”

Lee County told WINK News they expect the hearing examiner to make a decision soon. But, they could not give an exact time frame on when that will happen.

Reporter:Sara Girard
Writer:Michael Mora
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