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Council approves first GO Bond issuance

By Staff | Mar 20, 2019

The Cape Coral City Council has authorized the first financing wave for its voter-approved $60 million parks master plan.

Council on Monday approved, by a 7-0 vote, a contract with Bank of America for the issuance of the initial General Obligation Bonds approved in November. The $10.2 million loan will be used to fund first-priority parks improvements and new parks as outlined in the plan.

Financial Director Victoria Bateman said the city plans to go to council next year for another $15 million, with more coming in the following two years. The rate will be a fixed 2.75 percent, with the closing on the loan anticipated Friday.

Councilmember John Carioscia asked to pull a consent agenda item involving the purchase of a property for Festival Park at a cost $290,000.

Festival Park, for which the city has acquired land since 2003, has three properties left for the city to purchase.

A second item, regarding a postal machine for the municipal charter schools that was tabled from a meeting two weeks ago, was not pulled after the questions asked by Mayor Joe Coviello were answered.

The delay in the land use and zoning changes, which was applauded by some, was not by others. Robin Dawn Ryan, who owns a dance studio, said in public comment she was about to move to a new building. However, her new property had to be zoned and, with Council approval delayed, she is not sure if the bank can approve her loan.

“I love what I do. I’m a small business who has been here for 44 years. People ask me why I don’t go to Fort Myers. It’s because my heart is here,” Ryan said. “All I want is to get the property zoned, and this is affecting me.”

Vince Cautero, community development director, said he would talk to the bankers involved to see if the city could get any issues resolved quickly.

In other business, the council voted to approve Guido Minaya and Susan Mitchell as members of the Cape Coral Charter School Authority. Minaya was named as the business representative, while Mitchell was named as an at-large member.

The city council also approved the vacation of two plat properties with certain conditions and declared a third property as unusable municipal surplus land and conveyed the property to the Sandoval Community Association.

The city council also honored Cape Coral Fire Department engineer Todd Clark, who earned the Award of Merit, the second-highest honor a city firefighter can receive, for his work in saving three young people trapped in a car that was submerged in an in-ground swimming pool.