Fort Myers residents adamantly oppose placement of huge water tank

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:
An illustration of the water tank. (Credit: WINK News)
An illustration of the water tank. (Credit: WINK News)

The City of Fort Myers is considering placing a giant water tank off Treeline Ave, next to the Bridgetown Community. But, many residents are adamantly against having the giant structure come to their neighborhood.

Joan Birkinbine and her dogs like their neighborhood just the way it is and she is fed up at the possibility of Fort Myers building the water tank 80 feet from her street.

“We don’t want to have to live with the noise from it, ruining our view at the end of the street and losing our beautiful sunset,” Birkinbine said, “which is why we all moved here.”

Birkinbine’s neighbor, Paul Sullivan, loves his neighborhood just the same. He does not want a water tank anywhere near his home, either.

“We’re concerned about our property values,” Sullivan said. “We are concerned about catastrophic.”

The city heard their concerns and temporarily halted plans for the massive 44 ft. tank. At a meeting on Tuesday, city leaders offered up a compromise, which is smaller and some may perceive it as a more attractive tank.

“No matter how much you make it look beautiful and put the same type of roof on it,” Birkinbine said, “why would you put millions of gallons of water at the end of our street?”

“I don’t think it’s sufficient,” Sullivan said.

At the meeting, the city also went over four other sites they have considered. Only one is a possibility but would require a larger pump to fix the current water pressure issues.

The city said southeast Fort Myers needs more water and better water pressure. Jan Grier understands that something must be done.

“I don’t know what else they can do. I really don’t,” Grier said. “I think they’re trying really hard to meet our demand.”

The city has not announced a decision and until it does, residents will continue advocating to protect their neighborhood.

“We are dead set against it and we’ll fight it,” Sullivan said. “Whatever we have to do.”

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