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Hurricane impact expected to top $17.6 million

By Staff | Jan 4, 2018

Cape Coral City Council will open its first regular meeting of the new year with an update on costs left in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

So far, the city has paid $6.25 million in emergency expenses and debris removal. Total Hurricane Irma expenses are expected to exceed $17.6 million including permanent damage repairs.

The city is working with FEMA and anticipates being reimbursed between 75 percent and 100 percent.

An ordinance that would authorize the appropriation of committed/reserve funds toward obligations resulting from damage or conditions caused by Hurricane Irma will be introduced at Council’s 4:30 p.m. meeting at City Hall.

Council then is expected to vote on Jan. 22 to authorize the appropriation of $2 million from the committed/ Reserved balances in the disaster fund, $1.5 million from the Capital Equipment Fund, and $500,000 from the Facilities-maintenance funds to aid in the city’s recovery from the damage caused the storm.

The rest of the agenda will be more routine.

In addition to items on the consent agenda, there will be two ordinances and three appointments for the Council to consider.

Council will consider its code of ordinances regarding stormwater management to amend definitions; to clarify calculations of stormwater user fees for multi-family and undeveloped property and to eliminate retroactive corrections, adjustments, or exemptions.

They also want clarification of the evidence required to support a request for parcel exemption or credit from stormwater fees, detailing the scope of information required.

City staff has recommended approval of the revisions, saying they would improve their applications.

Council also will consider the voluntary annexation of a privately owned 9.72-acre parcel at 2915 SW Pine Island Road.

The site was an enclave created in 1971 by a judicial order, according to documents submitted with the annexation request. An enclave is a property surrounded on all sides by a municipality. Multiple municipalities or such that access to and from the site travels through a municipality.

The site has commercial potential and annexation would result in more efficient provision of services to the site, according to city staff.

Staff has concluded the property must be annexed to begin the process to allow city regulations to take effect. Since the property meets legal annexation standards, it is appropriate to bring the property under its jurisdiction.

The applicant is also seeking an amendment to the comprehensive land use map and to rezone the property, which is officially in unincorporated Lee County. The land is currently designated rural on the land use map and zoned Agricultural.

The applicant seeks to change the land use to Pine Island Road District and a re-zone to Commercial Park Overlay.

Staff recommends approval.

In other business, the City Council is expected to vote to fill three vacancies on the Budget Review Committee, two of which were vacated when Joe Coviello and Jennifer Nelson were elected as mayor and council member respectively. Jeff Green also resigned.

Eight applicants will be considered; Michael Botkin, Robert Davies, Gary Eidson, James Foraker, Beatrice Jacquet-Castor, Bill Osborn, James Roach, and Gene Paul Smith.

Cape Coral City Hall is at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.