Email to the Largo Mayor and Commission
Mayor Patricia Gerard, Commissioners Mary Gray Black, Woody Brown, Harriet Crosier, Shirley, Frick, Curtis Holmes, Robert Murray, and Gigi Arntzen,
I am addressing this letter to everyone with this email address in hopes that each of you will read it and perhaps come up with a solution. I live in Lake Alison development in Largo, Fl. There is a lake across the street from me that is so congested with vegetation and algae that the smell of dead fish is overpowering some days. You can see the fish crowding looking for clean water. I've found dead turtles in my yard. The poor things managed to get out and across the street. They probably are looking for the swamp behind my house. I've seen the dead fish floating. The people on that side of the street say that the City of Largo said it's their problem. They say that the lake is considered private property. If that is so, why then are there sewers that push water into the lake? Are the sewers not city responsibility? These people were told that they would have to foot the bill to clean the lake. Yet, everyday, I watch as city workers in their trucks dump garbage into the lake while they work. Isn't that, then, illegal dumping? I'm also fairly sure that the city owns the land on the opposite side of the lake where these workers are working. Yet, on weekends, I see the gate open and someone is flying a mechanical plane for hours on end. Does the city allow certain citizens to have keys to open gates to get on city land for their own enjoyment? I was chased from the property by the man flying the plane when I saw the gate open and took my dog in for a walk. If this is private property, then the plane flying is of no consequence, BUT the workers are still dumping illegally.
OK, there's my story. I'd like to have the lake cleaned. I believe fish, turtles, and even gators deserve a clean habitat. This overgrowth of vegetation is killing them, and only God knows what chemicals are in the lake. Has it ever been tested? Please, something has got to be done. If this letter is not for your consideration, please forward it to whoever can help. I will enclose my address, so you will have an idea where I live and where this lake is located. I understand my neighbor, who lives on the lake, has written to just about everyone imaginable about this and has even called in an environmental agency to check it out.
Diane L. Grabosky
The City of Largo is aware of the overgrowth that is occurring in Lake Allison. Unfortunately, at this time, the City does not have legal access to the rear of the residential properties that reside along the west of, and include, the lake. Specifically, each property owner's lot includes that portion of the lake directly behind their home, and a portion of the lake bank on the east side of the lake. While the City does own the property due east (former Largo Landfill), a small strip of the lake bank adjacent to the water is owned by the residents to the west of the lake. As such, the City needs to obtain easements from each of the thirteen (13) property owners in order to legally access all portions of the lake to provide any type of maintenance activities.
The City is not aware of any dumping into the lake, either by private entities or City staff, as you have described in your e-mail. Since the property to the east of the lake is owned by the City of Largo, it would not be uncommon to see City vehicles or personnel performing maintenance activities on the landfill property. In the event you observe any dumping into a waterway, regardless of whether a City employee or not, it is requested you contact the City of Largo immediately at 587-6718. The sewers that you reference pushing water into the lake are storm water pipes that service the Lake Allison subdivision, as well as stormwater runoff from areas to the north of the lake. The City is responsible for those stormwater piping systems that are located in appropriate easements or in the rights of way (essentially the roadway) of the neighborhood. Once the pipes leave public domain and enter onto private property, the drainage cannot be maintained without the appropriate easements being dedicated to the City.
The Public Works Department is currently evaluating what assistance can be provided to the residents until such time as easement documents are obtained. In the very near future, residents along Lake Allison will be contacted by City representatives to obtain their signatures on appropriate easement documents. We hope that the property owners will understand the need for these documents, and assist the City in gaining the legal access necessary to prevent this type of issue from occurring in the future.
Patricia S. Gerard
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