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Meetings proposed to help council devise utility expansion plan

By Staff | Aug 19, 2010

The Cape Coral City Council will likely have four meetings to address four separate items that Councilmember Pete Brandt feels will help to devise a plan for the utilities expansion project.
Council directed staff during its COW meeting Wednesday to research and ready the items for future meetings.
The four items include: how the city should contract the work, how the city should manage the utilities, what delivery system the city should use and revisiting the assessment methodology.
Of the four, how the city should manage utilities got most notice on the dais.
Brandt said he would work with staff and City Manager Gary King to not only address the four issues, but to focus heavily on managing the utilities.
Some of the council members felt that additional presentations from utility experts, possibly representatives from other municipalities, would help the board get a handle on the situation.
“Some of these issues are complex. We may not be able to figure it out for ourselves,” Mayor John Sullivan said.
Councilmember Marty Mc-Clain commended city staff for working on reducing the utility rate to just over 9 percent, but added that the city would have to find a way to generate revenue to pay for the systems already in place.
McClain said, too, that council will eventually have to make some hard decisions, and not simply move from meeting to meeting, regardless of the source of information.
“There’s been hundreds of hours of staff time that has given presentation after presentation and we have yet to pull the trigger on anything … we have to continue moving forward, or we’ll just keep wasting night here,” McClain said.
Sullivan also directed City Attorney Dolores Menendez to keep investigating the legality of creating of a special taxing district for lots where utilities are available but have not connected, or a special taxing district where no utilities are available.