Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Despite loss of EPA grant, West Shore canal dredging work to go forward

TAMPA — Even though the city has lost a promised million-dollar federal grant, Tampa's public works director Monday night told Sunset Park homeowners that a project to dredge about a dozen canals in the West Shore area is far from dead.

"We have a budget issue, and we're going to try to solve it, but we're going to move forward on this project," Irvin Lee said to a smattering of applause at a community meeting at the Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library.

But clearing away years of skepticism and distrust may prove even harder than dredging the muck out of the canals.

"The common thought is that this isn't going to happen," said resident Howard Whitney, who was a little more optimistic by the end of the meeting.

Some residents have worked to get the canals cleaned out for eight, 12, 15, even 30 years. At one point, shrimp boats would dock alongside West Shore Boulevard to sell their catch. As recently as the late 1990s, manatee and snook swam in the canals. Now, said resident Dennis Noto, "there's nothing but sludge."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the city last month that it was cutting $1.25 million for the $2.5 million project because Congress had cut $140 million from its program for such projects.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, has since asked the EPA to reinstate the grant on the grounds that it was approved in 2005 and the city has already spent more than $641,000 on engineering and permits. Lee said the work will continue, with the city finding the money it needs somewhere else.

The city has hired Duncan Seawall Dock and Boatlift to design the project and get permits. Once that's done, the company will give the city a guaranteed maximum price. If that's too high, the city can opt out of the project.

The canals to be dredged flow into Old Tampa Bay between Kennedy and Gandy boulevards. The goal is remove sediment from a channel up to 20 feet wide and 3 to 5 feet below the mean low water level. Clearing out the canals will help South Tampa drain faster, City Council member Harry Cohen said.

But some residents worry that the scope of work will leave at least one canal partly silted in, and that within a few years the remaining muck will fill in the dredged-out channel. "We're not trying to find a way to do this right," resident T.J. Ferlita said. "We're just trying to find a way to do it to appease some people."

Despite loss of EPA grant, West Shore canal dredging work to go forward 10/24/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 7:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor hits a home run Tuesday during the third inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs. [Associated Press]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  5. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …