Published On: Tue, Sep 14th, 2021

Florida Small Town Residents Concerned About Population Influx

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla.—With more than 900 people moving to Florida every day, Punta Gorda is one of many communities experiencing an influx of newcomers and the reverberations of booming growth. While day-to-day things, such as traffic, are an obvious concern, the conservative locals are concerned about more fundamental changes. The small town on Florida’s gulf coast is home to many who fear that their way of life will be wiped out by “northern ideals” arriving in with the newcomers to the community. Punta Gorda is home to more than 21,000 full-time residents, not counting the thousands of annual winter visitors, whom the locals call “snowbirds.” Lifelong residents see the migration pattern from the north as an inconvenience that, far from going away, is only getting worse. Danielle Bengston of neighboring Fort Myers said the new residents are “clogging up the system,” making everyday life “miserable” for her. She recalled going …

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