ST. JAMES CITY, Fla. It’s a question of what’s worse — mosquitoes or the fight against them.
The Lee County Mosquito Control District, which uses Buckingham Airport in Lehigh Acres for its aerial spraying efforts, wants to buy the private Woodstock Airport on Pine Island, arguing it’s a more efficient location.
But residents like Will Peratino, who lives near the airport, voiced their concerns about the lack of information they’ve received about the district’s plans during Tuesday night’s community meeting at the Pine Island Fire Department.
“The immediate community would like to see what your real plans are,” he said. “They have not disclosed any of those documents nor have they disclosed any financial analysis that they did to show that this would be cost effective.”
Fellow resident Jamie Saunders is worried about her privacy.
“I’ve got a pool out there where I swim in and I don’t want a helicopter flying over my pool all day long,” she said.
Shelly Redovan, deputy director of the district, said the purchase wouldn’t cause a significant change in flight patterns and will allow helicopters to fly directly to marsh areas.
“You could actually leave a helicopter or a couple of helicopters there during the evening and then start up the next day straight from there, as opposed to the transition time coming from Buckingham out there” Redovan said.
However, others like David Grueser are open to the idea if the district helps maintain Woodstock Road.
“They said they want to be good neighbors and they want to pay their fair share, and that’s all you can ask,” he said.