TAMPA - City officials took heat from Harbour Island residents at a public meeting Wednesday concerning a wastewater pipeline project.
The Harbour Island Force Main is a pipeline in the city's wastewater system and, according to city officials, it is leaking, corroding, and therefore desperately needs to be renovated.
But part of the pipeline runs directly underneath Harbour Island and neighbors are worried the project will mean tearing up a significant portion of their community.
"Completely rip apart everything that we have right here right now," said Larry Premack, president of the South Neighborhood Association.
Premack has been keeping neighbors up to date with the project and sent out emails encouraging residents to attend Wednesday's public meeting.
"To me and to a lot of my friends this has kind of been a secretive thing done behind closed doors," said Chris Davis, a resident of Harbour Island.
City officials assured neighbors they are looking into alternate routes for the pipeline.
Many people asked whether it was possible to build the pipeline around Harbour Island instead of through it.
"We would want the city to go outside and do an "all water route" which would be less intrusive," said Premack.
City officials said they are evaluating all options for the project which is currently budgeted for $25 million.
A decision is expected to be made by the fall.