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LCEC franchise: Council asked to reaffirm proposed pact

By Staff | Nov 30, 2017

Cape Coral’s election-revamped city council will be asked Monday to reaffirm a staff-proposed franchise agreement with LCEC.

The eight-member elected board – which has four new members – will be asked to endorse a proposed draft Franchise Agreement and draft Memorandum of Understanding approved by the previous Council on Oct. 23 before the General Election.

City staff and the business organization that has been facilitating talks, the Cape Coral Council For Progress, both recommend approval of the draft documents, which have been rejected by the electric co-op’s administrative staff.

If Council again agrees, City Manager John Szerlag and two members of the Council for Progress will present the proposals directly to LCEC’s elected Board of Trustees.

“If the documents are favorably received by LCEC, the City will then initiate the process necessary for City Council to consider adoption of the Franchise Agreement by ordinance and adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding,” the city’s administration said in a memo to City Council.

The original 30-year franchise agreement expired on Sept. 30, 2016, and the two sides have wrangled since.

The city filed a complaint last year with the Florida Public Service Commission which sought a cost of service study and examination of LCEC’s rate structure, The city later withdrew its request “as a show of good faith” at the negotiating table.

Despite the efforts of Council for Progress Executive Director Joe Mazurkiewicz and Board Chair Brian Rist, though, talks again broke down with LCEC presenting the city with its own final offer.

In other business, City Council is also expected vote to use a uniform method of collecting Non-Ad Valorem special assessments, the extension of medical benefits to the domestic partners (not necessarily of the same sex) of employees and dependents of domestic partners, and on fees associated with the new Cape Coral Animal Shelter.

Also on Monday’s agenda are several appointments to boards, including five for the Construction Regulation Board and the Community Development Block Grant, three for the Golf Course Advisory Board and one for the Youth Council.

The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.