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Cape to consider recreation agreement

By Staff | Dec 8, 2012

Cape Coral is expected to decide Monday whether to approve an agreement with the South Florida Canoe Kayak Club for use of city property as a potential boat house and training facilities.

The proposed location is at 418 S.W. 3rd Place, near Lake Kennedy, which the Parks & Recreation department owns and uses for the Coconut Festival.

Should council approve the agreement, it would give the club immediate access at a cost of $1, until a formal lease can be agreed upon by the city and the club.

“The agreement would allow them to use the house so we could prepare the lease,” said Parks & Rec Director Steve Pohlman. “With grants, we will show the partnership between the city and the kayak club.”

The agreement should pay immediate dividends, officials said. The Denmark national team is set to come to town in March, and numerous individual paddlers will come to the city to train during their off-season.

“This is a very positive thing for the city. If we didn’t do it, other municipalities in the area would have jumped at it,” Councilmember Lenny Nesta said in a phone interview Friday. “Seven countries are involved and will train here with the U.S. team for the 2016 Olympics. That’s what we want.”

“This is great for Cape Coral. Melinda (Mack) brings energy to this opportunity,” Pohlman said. “This is an opportunity to market our city.”

On Nov. 26, city council approved a motion to move forward with the permissive use agreement for land near Sun Splash that will hopefully become a go-to place for paddlers on a recreational and competitive level.

According to Melinda Mack, president of the South Florida Canoe Kayak Club, it’s a win-win.

“The economic impact for the city would be the international athletes. Denmark is coming in March, four teams from England are coming in January and some from Canada in February,” Mack said. “This puts us on the map.”

In other business, among the consent items Council is expected to consider are approval of Xylem Water Solution USA as the sole source for the purchase and repair Flygt Pumps for the Utilities Dept. for 2013-14 at a cost of $870,000; the chiller replacement for the air conditioning system at City Hall for $307,090; the purchase of three parcels of land at Festival Park; and the Stormwater Master Plan.

The city also is scheduled to consider six “resolutions of necessity” to purchase land by eminent domain to build two canal pump stations and four lift stations for the Southwest 6&7 utility expansion project.

The resolutions created some concern when workshopped last week over land swapping and what partial condemnation for easement access would do to the value of the properties in question should the city go that route.

Nesta said the project needs to go forward.

“Part of our political campaign was based upon restarting the project. We need to finish what’s in the ground,” Nesta said. “A land swap with what we own would be good. There’s nothing negative about it.”

Among the ordinances council is expected to vote on is the proposed dissolution of the Entrada Community Development District.

Also, council will consider recommendations made by the city’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee related to incentives that may be used to encourage development of affordable housing.

This plan, in accordance with state statutes, must be adopted by the end of the month.