Swimmers update on the Poison Pipeline. (From Lucky’s viewpoint)
Good news in the battle on the poison pipeline – The city has blinked. The project manager has placed the project on “indefinite hold” while exploring other options. Jim Hunt the project manager states that he should have an answer in less that 30 days and his most recent statement is “I am even more confident that we can make corrections to the existing system on Peregrine Avenue, and there will not be an outfall to Lake Cane as proposed.” In real English this means that it will be easier to fix the current drainage system that to battle all of us every step of the way in constructing the poison pipeline.
This is great, but I am not quite ready to throw down my weapons and go home. Please remember we are dealing with the government and they were the ones who came up with this really bad idea in the first place.
First I would like to thank everyone who has given us support. It has been overwhelming. I know I owe many returns on emails and I am behind on responding to many of you, but I want you to know I have placed all my other projects on the backburner to concentrate on the pipeline and I appreciate all the support shown. I would also like to thank those that survived the intensely long community meeting Wednesday, although most of us did not leave any smarter than when we went in, the city officials clearly knew we stood together.
Many folks have been deeply involved, too many to mention by name, but I do want to single out George Mann “aka Cypress Sam” (A friend of mine for over 20 years, 100 K club member and former Director of Public Works for the city of Kissimmee). George had several meetings with city officials and engineers. He acquired and examined tons of project documents and he came up with some extremely valuable insights on the project. I fully believe his involvement was a turning point in the battle against the pipeline. So for all you folks that thought George was just an old curmudgeon, well he is, but he’s a damn smart curmudgeon and I’m sure glad he’s on our side. I asked George if he could spare me an hour or two for an introduction to drainage engineering. He said “I won’t need that long plus I can sum up two years of graduate education . . . It’s not rocket science – water flows down hill” then he walked off.
So here is where we currently stand.
The project is on hold while other options are being considered (I fully believe they are carefully considering other alternatives, I don’t think they are blowing smoke up our butts, so for the time being the city is on our side).
It turns out there are not one but two drain systems (thanks again George). One is the Vineland road drainage system that swings around lake cane and has it’ outflow in Lake Cane Swamp (down stream of Lake Cane) This is off of Peregrine and is known as the Peregrine out flow. (See picture – not pretty) This water does not enter lake cane but is treated by percolation through a 600 foot spreader swale then into the swamp. The second system is the overflow drain from Lake Marsha, which also flows to the Peregrine outflow. This is only active during heavy storms.
It is now believed the problems of flooding and manhole cover popping may be from the overflow system from Lake Marsha, not the Vineland road runoff system. (Another words they were about to poison lake cane fixing a problem that may not even exist.)
Also it was determined that neither system has ever been cleaned in twenty years (this is expensive). Slit can easily build up and block the water flow and this may very well be happening.
The county has been and remains on our side. They have already allotted $300,000+ in funds for clean up on the turkey lake road side of the lake. Our county commissioner Scott Boyd and County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has been instrumental in acquiring these funds. They were also attempting to create a lake area tax zone to raise funds so the fixes to the lake could be sustained. The poison pipeline derailed this, because residents are afraid to vote more taxes on themselves in the shadow of poisoning the lake.
Where to now?
- We are going to give Jim Hunt some breathing room for the next few weeks to find an alternative for the poison pipeline. My gut feeling is that he will.
- We will remain diligent in following his progress and if the city returns to plans of storm water discharge into the lake we will commence our battle all guns a blazing.
- I will ask Mayor Teresa Jacobs to formally request a return of the easement to the county from the city. The easement transfer took place in 2008 before our current elected officials were in place. I believe the request for transfer was done under false pretences and the county would not have transferred the easement if they really understood the scope of the project.
- We will file for a hearing on the permit. It is extremely beyond the deadline to ask for a hearing. But many of the residents impacted by the permit were not given notice of the permit and there is definitely incorrect information filled out on the permit, which is the only reason it was approved.
- I will keep folks updated on this blog of what I know. I will also do updates on the website http://www.mayorbuddydyerpoisonpipeline.com/# Check the “what are we doing drop down menu for updates.
Again thanks for everyone’s support on this issue. This is a battle we are going to win!!