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Cape council to consider tough fertilizer ordinance

By Staff | Nov 8, 2010

Cape Coral will likely have a fertilizer ordinance in place that will rival, if not best, the state’s fertilizer policy.
City council is set to hear the ordinance on Nov. 29, during which public input will be allowed.
City Engineer Oliver Clarke said the ordinance is “more stringent” than that of the state, including a blanket requirement for slow-release nitrogen in fertilizer, and a four-month black out period during the summer when use of certain fertilizer will be forbidden, among others.
Councilmember Pete Brandt — who acted as council liaison during the North Spreader Eco-system Management process — said there was a concerted effort to make the ordinance more strict than either the state, or county, requires.
“This turns out to be the ordinance that evolved during NESMA process,” Brandt said. “The further we looked at it, we made it stricter than the state, and in some instances, stricter than Lee County.”
Councilmember Derrick Donnell, who sponsored the ordinance, said it is long overdue.
“We have been hanging on, working this through to get to the right time. The time is here,” Donnell said.
“The perception is we’re not doing our part to keep the Caloosahatchee River clean because we don’t have an ordinance,” he added.
Councilmember Bill Deile wondered if holding off on the ordinance would provide the city with a bargaining chip as the city continues to fight to keep from replacing the Ceitus Boat Lift/Barrier.
Oliver Clarke said it was important to pass the ordinance, regardless of what happens next with the NSEMA process as it will likely head to court.
“If the larger issue ends up in court, it’s relevant we did the right thing when we had the chance to do it,” Clarke said.