News Stories

Dunbar South Street Unanswered Questions

HelloSWFL is looking for solid answers to property value surrounding Dunbar’s toxic sludge site.

Dunbar residents have been a topic of conversation in our newsroom for several weeks now. Specifically families living around a plot of land the city used as a dumping ground.

The plot of land circles around South Street, Midway Avenue, Jeffcott Street and Henderson Ave.

Toxic Sludge Recap

In 2017, residents learned that plot of land and the groundwater contains high levels of arsenic.

On Thursday, January 25, the city of fort Myers held a town hall meeting at the Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Community Center in hopes to put Dunbar residents at ease. The city played a 17 minute powerpoint presentation that tried to explain the arsenic found in the groundwater is not harmful.

To be honest, the presentation was filled with scientific jargon and caused more confusion for residents.

Visit Dunbar

To get a better sense of what the area looked like, we took a ride out to Dunbar. As with any neighborhood, there were a few homes that needs a bit of TLC, but for the most part, it is a well maintained working class neighborhood. Nice cars, clean streets and leveled sidewalks.

Despite the pristine upkeep, a couple of news reports mentioned homeowners are worried that the toxic dump site is putting a damper on property value.

The residential real estate site trulia.com listed property values between $59,000 to $167,000.

Gentrify Dunbar

There is also a lot of talk around town where “ residents believe the City of Fort Myers have plans to take over Dunbar .”

Unfortunately, we didn’t find any evidence that the City made any buyout offers to residents living within close proximity of the toxic site.

The interim Public Information Officer replied in an e-mail, “The City of Fort Myers has no plans to purchase residences in any part of the community,” Phyllis Ershowsky wrote. “Future improvements, and commercial projects may take place in areas of the City zoned for commercial use, not only in the parameters of South St, Jeffcott, Midway, and Henderson, but in other parts of the City as well.”

Let’s Connect

If you’re a member of the Dunbar community and you have solid proof that your property value decreased because of the toxic dump, we would like to hear from you.

If a realtor, or a developer made you an offer for your Dunbar home, we would like to hear from you.

And if there’s something you know that we don’t know, we would like to hear from you too.

Send your story to Tamika.Cody@HelloSWFL.com with Dunbar Property in the subject line.

Actions