ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tons of toxic muck taken out of a St. Petersburg lake and allegedly dumped by the city on private property was the basis for a lawsuit filed against the city by the owner of that property.
When the city decided to clean up Lake Maggiore on St. Petersburg’s south side about 15 years ago, the sediment dredged from the bottom of the lake was trucked to various locations around Tampa Bay. According to the complaint filed in court, about 72 million pounds of arsenic-contaminated sediment wound up at Dorchester Holdings' Gateway property in Gateway Centre of Gandy Boulevard in Pinellas Park.
The property next door is already being developed, and the owner says he wants to do the same, but he can’t do that until all the arsenic-laden muck is removed.
"We still have arsenic contamination on the property,” said David Freeman, who owns Dorchester Holdings and is the plaintiff in the case. “We just want the city to do the right thing and get this cleaned up as quickly as possible and try to get this resolved; but it has been very difficult and, in the meantime, the property is sitting there, and I’m not able to do anything with it.”
Freeman said he’s tried to go through other channels, including getting the city’s attention through city council members and even the mayor but says he’s now left with no other option but to sue the city.
10News reached out to the city of St. Petersburg and was told the city has no comment at this time.
On Thursday, Judge Thomas Minkoff ruled that the case may move forward. No court date has been set.