Canal dredging project in the works for Burnt Store Isles community

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- A local boating community says the canals are too shallow and narrow for their boats to access Charlotte Harbor.

Some realtors are even steering boaters away from buying in the Burnt Store Isles community because of it. A new dredging project is being proposed to fix the problem but for some neighbors, it’s going to come at a cost.

“Everyone uses the Rim Canal to get out because it empties out to Alligator Creek. So if you’re going to be boating, you’re going to use the the Rim Canal and as we talked about, there are areas where it’s a safety issue. It’s a real hazard,” said Gary Brewster, Canal Advisory Committee chairman.

A study done on the canal that leads to Charlotte Harbor found areas as shallow as 2 feet. If approved, the project would cost nearly $512,000.

Homeowners that live on the water in the BSI community would pay $580 a year until the total was paid off. That’s a $180 increase from what they pay now.

Some neighbors told WINK News off camera that they’re not happy about the increase and don’t want to pay, while others say it’s a good investment.

“It’s worth it to pay the extra cost for something you’re getting that’s improving your property or increasing the value of it. I wouldn’t mind doing that,” said resident Mariann Millner.

Punta Gorda City Council will discuss the project at their meeting Wednesday morning. If approved, the project would likely be finished in 2017.

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