SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- Debbie White has lived--or worked--just east of the interstate near the Celery Fields all her life. She loves this rural area.
"Look at all the birds on the wire and stuff, you can see nature around here all the time. We see bald eagles out our backdoor," White said.
Wednesday she and her husband received an email about a Neighborhood Workshop set for the next day. It was for those who wanted to learn more about plans for a proposed recycling facility and waste transfer facility on 12 acres of land on Palmer Boulevard.
"It made me very upset," she said. White said all of the "35-45 people" at Thursday night's workshop in a nearby church were against the prospective project.
We asked her why she would oppose a project like this adjacent to an industrial park: "We need to monitor that everything is good for the environment that is around here," she answered.
Sarasota County Spokesman Jason Bartolone refused to speak on camera since the applicant hasn't formally filed yet--but he did confirm on the phone the county owns this land, and the prospective applicant needs a rezoning and a special exception for this property at Apex Road and Palmer Boulevard. Bartolone said last night's Neighborhood Workshop was the required first step in the process.
Bartolone put us in touch with Robert Medred who is an "agent" for TST Ventures, LLC. Medred told us on the phone his client was in Arcadia and wouldn't be available for comment. We then called the real estate broker listed on the Neighborhood Workshop email, but Jeff Button didn't return our voice-mail message.
In the email alerting interested parties about the neighborhood meeting, the notice stated the facility would not be a dump or landfill where material is buried. "No household domestic garbage or toxic materials will be accepted at this site."