Largo City Commission:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have been out of town for a professional conference and have only today seen the article in the October 6th "Neighborhood Times" section of the St. Petersburg Times. My wife and I live in the white house that is pictured in the center of the Times photo. I am writing to express my deepest concern about the situation described in this article.
Lake Margaret is absolutely the reason we purchased our house and chose to live in Largo when we moved here from Orlando four years ago. We have been able to weather the trauma of losing equity in our house with the plummeting real estate values because we tell ourselves we would never want to live anywhere else-and Lake Margaret is a major part of that sentiment. When I sense that the City is planning to engage in activity that will potentially harm that resource that brings such value to our property and our lives it makes me worried-and not a little angry.
If the article in the Times is correctly quoting the City engineer, my uneasy feelings are compounded. Common sense would indicate that diverting runoff water from streets and drains into a body of water such as Lake Margaret has the potential of adversely impacting that body of water. If the City is interested in "protecting the water quality in the city", has there been an environmental impact study that has specifically addressed this issue? If so, I would be interested in seeing that study. If so, I wonder why the Times article is referencing what the City engineer "believes" instead of citing hard data. Did the City engineer really refer to Lake Margaret as a "pond"? Does he think this area is a retention pond? Does the City engineer know the difference between a retention pond and a spring-fed body of water? The information contained in this newspaper article does not give me much cause for trusting either the intentions or the competence of the City's handling of this situation.
The article says that homeowners pay $10 per month for the professional maintenance and upkeep of the lake. Actually our current rate is $75 every six months. But the point is that the City of Largo, to my knowledge, does nothing to assist in the maintenance of this resource. That makes the quote attributed to the engineer about being interested in "protecting the water quality in the city" sound ever more vacuous. In addition to seeing an impact study that shows that this project will not adversely affect Lake Margaret, I would like to see in writing what the City plans to do to rectify the situation if there is a problem created in our lake as a result of this proposed work.
Jonathan K. Jaberg Largo
Your e-mail has been received and forwarded to the Mayor, Commission, City Manager, and City Engineer for their information.
Please be advised that an update on the Margaret Manor Drainage Project will be presented to the Commission at its Work Session on Tuesday, October 12. The Work Session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is held in the Community Room at Largo City Hall. You may view a copy of agenda item # 2 on the city's website, www.largo.com, by clicking on Government; City Commission; Agendas.
Shirley Frick City of Largo
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