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Removal of Chiquita lock would address a major safety issue

December 27, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

I, for one, am in support of removing the Chiquita lock. The City of Cape Coral has been trying to remove the lock for years, at a substantial expense for the taxpayers. The DEP approved the removal after making many demands on the City of Cape Coral. Now a hand full of petitioners are opposed to removing the lock and the process has been stalled again.

It is interesting that the people appearing on TV or in news stories probably never use the lock.

One who wrote expressing his opinion lives east of Del Prado near the river.

Another, who appeared on TV, lives in Matlacha. "Scientific evidence" cited in that opinion was that green algae did not reach the areas west of the lock, therefore the lock must stay. This is not true; we could see green algae floating in the water behind our house. Fortunately, it did not accumulate similar to canals east of the lock.

I have lived in Cape Harbour for 16 years. This is not an issue of environment, or "opinions" of those who are not affected by the lock. This is an issue of safety and a dangerous condition. Anyone who uses the lock knows that if you are returning from the river on a Sunday afternoon around 5 p.m. you have a dangerous situation. The basin in front of Rumrunners is congested, boats are tied up at the dock at Rumrunners, boats are being placed in and out of the water with a forklift at the boat storage facility. People in boats are waiting for the lock to open, then only three or four boats can go through the lock. This is a dangerous situation.

Opening the lock while in the lock creates a venturi tube affect. I have been in the lock while the lock is opened and boaters have been pushed against the bulkhead, and I have witnessed inexperienced boaters having their boats turned sideways in the lock. Our boat has damage on the hull from being pushed against the wall, and other damage to the rear of the boat when another boater lost control and slammed into our boat while the lock was being opened.

If we are so worried about green algae, then, if any logic prevails in keeping the Chiquita lock, will the State of Florida or the Federal Government fund placing a lock at all of the other canals along the river? The answer is no, and thus shows the simple illogical reason for keeping the Chiquita lock.

Dennis Costello

Cape Coral



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