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SWFWMD meets with neighbors

Posted: 8:42 PM, Oct 01, 2015
Updated: 2015-10-01 20:42:02-04

The trucks and pumps and backhoes have been going for nearly a year at a once peaceful pond in Robles Park in Tampa.   Mike Coleman moved into the neighborhood right after the work started. He's tiring of the the disruption.

"I've seen cranes and trucks.There are times I come home from work and I can't get to my driveway" said Coleman.

Coleman joined his neighbors at a community meeting Thursday with the City of Tampa and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the lead agency in the dredging project. They got an earful about the ear aches many are suffering.

"From someone who lives right across from the park is the beep, beep beep that starts from before 7:00 in the morning,  six days a week" said Robles Park resident, Lena Young Green.

The $2.3 million dollar project involves  dredging out decades of accumulated silt and the installation of baffle boxes that effectively filter out litter and pollutants from the storm drain before it gets into the lake.  That will in turn keep the water flowing in the Hillsborough River cleaner.

But the community didn't oppose the project, just the lack of communication and outreach they believe more affluent neighborhoods might have received.

"We want to know what's impacting our community and not be taken as though we are second and third class citizens to where it doesn't matter for us" said an attendee who asked not to be named.

SWFWMD promises to schedule and publicize meetings on the project from here on out.

"It's not our intent to leave anyone in the dark about a project that impacts their community" said SWFWMD spokesperson, Estella Gray.