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Plans for new water tank have Bridgetown neighbors concerned

Need more water? Build a new water tank. The only problem? No one wants a massive tank in their backyard.

That’s exactly what’s played out in the Treeline Avenue area of Fort Myers. After a lengthy battle, we now know that the tank will likely go just east of Interstate 75, right in the Bridgetown neighborhood.

Some neighbors say they’ve voiced their concerns many times over the past year, so when they got a letter last week saying the tank will come to their neighborhood, they felt duped.

Greg Berliner says he can’t imagine sitting on his lanai and seeing a huge water tank near his backyard.

He is just one of the neighbors who have spoken out against the plans for the city’s east water storage tank. After receiving the notice, he’s at a loss for words.

“It shouldn’t be near any residential community,” he said. “A 2.5 million-gallon water tank less than 100 feet from our homes represents a huge safety issue.”

The city says it will move forward with placing the tank at its original location east of I-75. They call the tank necessary to fit the needs of the growing community. It would be partially underground and would fit the look of the neighborhood.

Berliner says he’s not buying it. “It’s all nice and well and good, but you never know what you’re going to get until they’re finished and a lot of us fully expect them to say halfway down the road that well, it’s not in the budget and we’re just gonna end up with a big ole 45-foot water tank staring us in face.”

Last year, the city halted plans for the tank due to neighbors’ concerns. At a December meeting, the city presented five potential locations which included the original site.

“They brought it down to two sites, here and by Reflection Isles. Both communities had people at the meetings, both voiced their opinions,” Berliner said.

Karolina Negreira’s home is just feet away from the planned site. She says she feels cheated.

“It seems like they just wanted to pit us against each other so we could fight it out,” she said.

The project will cost nearly $7 million. The city plans to discuss the project at their Ward 6 meeting on Wednesday.

Some neighbors said they plan to be there to voice their concerns yet again.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Briana Harvath
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