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Cape to discuss FEMA reimbursement allocation

By Staff | Feb 20, 2020

The Cape Coral City Council will continue its discussion Monday on how to use the money it received from FEMA as reimbursement for damage costs caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

The city council in October gave some direction to where it wanted to go in dividing the funds. Of the seven present at that meeting, five gave specific direction.

The only items that got unanimous approval were funding for additional sidewalks and median improvements for $1 million apiece.

Funding for additional disaster reserves with what was left of the FEMA funds after distribution was voted on with near unanimity.

Also considered was assisting the city’s charter schools with athletic field construction at the Oasis campus for an estimated $3 million, funding a seawall hardship special assessment program, and for a fleet-facilities building, which were either split votes or required more information.

Mayor Joe Coviello said only the seawall program was something council didn’t have a desire for, and that putting more money into emergency reserves is the right way to go.

“A good chunk of that money should go to a reserve account in case of another catastrophe weatherwise,” Coviello said. “We will probably reimburse some of those funds and then see what the council’s appetite is for what’s left over.”

So far, the city has received $11.45 million of the expected $17.51 million it has sought. It is expected to receive an additional $4.5 million over the next 24 months and has appealed to receive an additional $1.2 million.

The city council also will tackle ways to calm traffic and overnight parking of commercial vehicles adjacent to residential areas at its Monday workshop.

An ordinance, that will come with a presentation from the Cape Coral Police Department, will establish regulations for overnight parking for commercial vehicles on certain public streets, with no parking of commercial vehicles between 2 and 6 a.m.

There also will be no on-street parking of commercial vehicles for more than two hours except by permit of vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds.

They can park between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., provided the commercial vehicle and trailer are actively used to provide service and located within 500 feet of the premises, there is evidence of a valid building permit or written information describing the location of premises is displayed on the vehicle or trailer.

Any violation would result in a $30 fine, and police would be authorized to have violators towed at their expense, especially if the violation is a safety hazard.

There will also be standards for parking on residential streets established in the ordinance, such as double parking, parking on a sidewalk or near a fire hydrant, etc

The meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.