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Cape to ask for toll share re-opener

By Staff | Jun 13, 2012

Cape Coral Councilmember Kevin McGrail put his keyboard to good use, crafting a letter to the Board of County Commissioners requesting “the review and possible renegotiation” of the terms in an interlocal agreement that governs how money collected from the tolls on the Midpoint Bridge are dispersed.

McGrail gave a copy of the letter to each council member Monday, the final regular meeting before a month-long hiatus.

The agreement, which went into effect in 1995, has been amended three times, the last in 2004. That latest version allows Cape Coral to keep 40 percent of the “net surplus toll revenue,” which is the money left over after all expenses.

The letter will be signed by Mayor Pro-Tem McGrail alone so the letter can be held to one page.

“If you read the interlocal, every five years, it opens up the possibility to reopen the percentages. It’s time to open discussion again,” McGrail said.

McGrail said he’s like to see BOCC chairman John Manning designate one or two people to represent them, along with two council members, to begin dialogue on new terms.

McGrail added he had heard encouraging signs with Commissioner Tammy Hall saying she’s welcome to reopening talks.

It is the hope that Cape Coral can get an equal split of the surplus funds, as well as have more say on how the money is spent.

Also, there was the first of two public hearings on the adoption of the 2012-13 one-year action plan for the Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Program to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The second hearing comes on July 23, with the final action plan to be submitted Aug. 15 for the beginning of the program year on Oct. 1.

The council also discussed and passed a waiver of conflict of interest by City Attorney Dolores Menendez for Roetzel & Andress. The vote was 7-1, with Chris Chulakes-Leetz casting the lone nay vote.

In other business, the council unanimously passed an ordinance amending fees charged by the city department of codes, duplicating documents and other fees. It also granted a permit of Public Convenience to Michael Litten to operate 10 limousines or taxis within the city.

It also unanimously approved continuing the existence of the Transportation Advisory Board and the Golf Course Advisory Board, to execute a Local Agency Program Agreement with the Florida DOT to install sidewalks on Southwest 20th Avenue from Trafalgar Parkway to Veterans Parkway, and resolved to rename the park located on the Malaga Canal “Founders Park.”