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LCEC makes progress on underground lines in CRA

By Staff | Dec 13, 2011

A date has not yet been finalized to energize the underground transmission lines along Southeast 47th Street, but Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director John Jacobsen promised lots of pomp and circumstance when that day does arrive.

Lee County Electric Co-op is expected to run copper wires through the duct banks in January, according to Jacobsen. When that step is complete, the CRA will be that much closer to being the only such taxing authority with underground transmission lines in Florida.

Jacobsen said the completed project and associated ribbon cutting should make local, state and nationwide news.

“We want to get the biggest bang for our buck without doing this we would have doomed our downtown,” Jacobsen said.

In other news, the CRA board pledged $5,000 to the “Paint the Cape” folks, who are painting buildings in the downtown district.

Organizer Patti Barker said the effort was one of pride and civic duty, by making sure the city looks as good as it possibly can.

The funds will be processed through the Cape Coral Community Foundation, so Barker and the volunteers have access to funding when they need it, as opposed to having to appear before the board for each individual need.

CRA Chair Don Heisler said the efforts of Paint the Cape, along with the South Cape United Business Association, are examples of progress and movement in Cape’s downtown.

A combination of private and public efforts to make downtown a better place are finally starting to meld, he said.

“We’re just now figuring out we need the civic momentum to compliment the government agency,” Heisler added. “We need that civic involvement.”

Finally, Four Freedoms Beach will not be completed in time for this weekend’s Holiday Boat-A-Long boat parade, Jacobsen said, due to the contractor being behind on other projects.

According to CRA documentation, the contractor is expected to mobilize the week of Dec. 19 with an anticipated completion date of Jan. 31.

Cape City Councilmember Marty McClain, liaison to the CRA board, said the contractor simply ran into an “act of God.” Recent rains have forced it to wait until the sand has dried, he said.

“They’re working weekends to get caught up (on other projects),” McClain said. “They’re working in good faith.”