It’s hard to believe it’s already June, which is shaping up to be a very busy month. June marks the start of hurricane season, the beginning of our fertilizer ban period, and we have several City events to look forward to.
Officials are once again predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2022. While we keep our fingers crossed that no major storms hit our city, it’s important to be prepared. I want to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to review their emergency plans and assemble a hurricane supply kit to ensure you are well-prepared if a storm should impact our area. It is important to create a list of supplies that you could take with you if you are forced to evacuate.
I strongly encourage all Cape Coral residents not to be complacent and begin your hurricane prep now if you haven’t already. As part of your preparations, please know your flood zone and determine where you would go if ordered to evacuate. Check your insurance coverage, inventory your possessions, and remember to secure valuables and important documents. Please don’t forget to ask your neighbors if they need any extra help or assistance. Knowing where to turn for reliable, up-to-date emergency information is also crucial to making it through a disaster. Be sure to regularly check the city’s website www.capecoral.gov and our official social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information.
Hurricane season is also our wet season. During our rainy season, I want to remind all Cape Coral residents that fertilizer use rules changed on June 1. The application of fertilizer containing phosphorus or nitrogen is prohibited from June 1 through September 30. Eliminating the use of phosphorus and nitrogen during the wet season helps to protect our canals and waterways, quality of life, and economy. Excess nutrients can cause harmful algal blooms that can cause fish kills, harm pets, and wildlife, and potentially injure people who encounter them. Keep an eye out for City messaging on this topic and encourage your friends and neighbors to “Be Wise, Don’t Fertilize.” [link to webpage with more info]
Coming up on June 8, we will celebrate with the South Cape Community Redevelopment Agency as the newest addition to 47th Terrace, an art sculpture is unveiled at the roundabout located at SE 47th Terrace and Vincennes Boulevard. Art sculptures are a distinguishing part of our public history and our evolving culture. The event will take place at 4 p.m. near the roundabout, and the public is invited, so I hope to see you there.
Then later in the month, we will have a groundbreaking ceremony at Yellow Fever Creek Environmental Park at 10 a.m. on June 24th. City Government officials and Executive staff will be there for the event, and we hope the public joins us for this one as well.
I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the City of Cape Coral’s award-winning Finance Department. They recently received two separate awards, one for Excellence in Financial Reporting and another for Distinguished Budget Presentation. The Finance Department was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for their Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for fiscal year 2020. This certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.
The Finance Department also received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for their fiscal year 2022 Budget Presentation. The award represents a significant achievement by the City of Cape Coral’s Finance Department, reflecting the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. The City of Cape Coral’s Finance Department is pioneering its efforts to improve the quality of budgeting. I am very proud of these accomplishments and thankful for the outstanding team who earned them. I’m honored to say that the City’s work provides an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
In closing, I’d like to again encourage our residents to join us in celebrating the downtown art sculpture installation and the groundbreaking at Yellow Fever Creek Park and remind you to start preparing for Hurricane season and begin limiting your use of phosphorous and nitrogen-containing fertilizers.
As always, I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community while moving our city forward.
As we spring into March, I am thankful for all the upcoming opportunities and enhancements coming to our City and our Parks.
Last year, we broke ground on four neighborhood parks and began improvement projects on other existing locations. With how popular sports and recreation are in our community, thankfully we have so many parks that while one is under construction there are many more to consider.
The Yacht Club Community Park is still set to begin renovations; however, it will happen a little later than originally anticipated. I encourage everyone to continue to visit the Yacht Club Community Park before construction begins, as spring is a perfect time of year to enjoy this waterside venue.
In addition to recreational opportunities, Cape Coral is thriving with new businesses and economic development. The Seven Islands project in Northwest Cape has selected a master developer and is currently negotiating the terms. In south Cape Coral, we will soon break ground on a transformational project, the Cove on 47th.
Council approved a city-initiated Future Land Use Map amendment from Commercial/Professional to Mixed-Use for about 182 acres referred to as “Academic Village,” located near the intersection of Kismet Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard North. The amendment will provide additional opportunities for light industrial and flex space which is a greatly needed development in our community.
I am happy to report the CapeCompetes Economic Development Incentive Fund, approved by City Council in December, has generated a lot of initial interest from the business community. The city is currently working on the applications and guidelines that will establish the process to begin accepting applications this summer. Our goal is to attract larger businesses with higher paying jobs so they may be offered to the residents of our community.
Looking forward to the opportunities we have on our horizon, I am excited for our city. I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community, while moving our city forward.
It’s only the second month of the year and already 2022 is shaping up to be an extremely busy year for Cape Coral.
Some of our top priorities, which include the expansion of utilities, the addition and renovation of city parks, residential and commercial growth, public safety, and finalizing the strategic plan, have built significant momentum and continue to propel us forward. Our strategic plan includes managing the city’s increase in population and ongoing development while providing exceptional services to our community.
Like any large city, we have challenges we are working to overcome. As many of you are acutely aware, our community is experiencing horticulture and bulk waste pickup delays throughout our city. I am committed to resolving this issue, and I’m asking for your help. I am asking residents to use our 311 Call Center to report missed waste collection pickups. Reporting your missed pickup helps the city to analyze the magnitude of the problem, as well as to resolve individual concerns by identifying homes where waste collection has been delayed. Council will be discussing possible alternative solutions at our upcoming meetings. In the interim I appreciate your continued patience and support until we get this issue resolved.
Finally, I can’t complete the February edition without mentioning Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a great time to recognize the people who are the most important to us. Please remember your family, friends, neighbors, first responders, city employees, and volunteers who make a positive impact in our lives. Our community is a great place to live because of the people who live and work here. Whether you give them a smile or send a thoughtful thank you message, a little goes a long way.
I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our community while moving our city forward.
Happy New Year!
Last January, I was appointed to be Mayor by our City Council, and being entrusted to lead this community is a great honor.
As the New Year begins, let us reflect on the resiliency and spirit found in our community over the past year. The pandemic brought us unexpected challenges, however, it also highlighted the fellowship that exists in our great city. Both residents and businesses have been impacted by these challenges, but we have much to celebrate. Last year was one of our most successful years in terms of growth and development activity in Cape Coral. More than 4,000 new construction permits were issued in Fiscal Year 2021 and Census estimates expect our population to exceed 200,000.
As your Mayor, I am committed to working with the City Council and our dedicated city employees to accomplish a full plate of projects, tasks, and goals this year. Together, we are excited to keep the momentum going with many projects and community improvements already in the works. The City’s newest multi-year strategic plan will be finalized soon and will serve as the foundation for our future policy-making decisions. Public safety will remain a top priority in the new year with more staffing and new police and fire training facilities. Major improvements at the Yacht Club Community Park are expected to start this Spring, and construction is getting started at several of our new neighborhood parks. These construction projects are part of the citywide voter-approved initiative to expand parks and recreation amenities. Other plans for the new year include road resurfacing, canal dredging, sidewalk construction, median landscaping, expanded broadband services, alley paving, expansion of water, sewer, and irrigation services in the northern part of the city and the installation of bubble-curtain devices that will help to keep harmful algae in the River from entering many of our canals. Additionally, the City is working to bring good-paying jobs to Cape Coral in the new year. Your City Council recently approved an ordinance that will provide business development and job creation incentives to attract new jobs to the city.
I am committed to working with residents, our business community, community organizations, and our state and local government partners to build a bright future for Cape Coral. I expect it will be a productive year for us and appreciate the ongoing support.
Happy holidays to our residents and visitors. Welcome back to our snowbirds.
As I wrap up my first year as your mayor, it has been an honor serving the Cape Coral community. The end of the year is a time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, this has been a productive year. The City witnessed significant economic growth. The City has five large-scale multi-family developments in the works and several thousand square feet of commercial projects under construction. More than 4,000 new construction building permits were issued in 2021, and the most recent population estimates indicate that just over 200,000 live in Cape Coral.
One of the primary responsibilities of the City Council is to adopt the annual operating budget. Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2022 budget in September, and we lowered the millage rate from 6.375 to 6.250. This budget allows us to expand public safety and invest in our infrastructure. We want Cape Coral to remain one of the safest cities in Florida.
We broke ground on four new parks and looking forward to breaking ground on others in the coming year. These parks are part of the citywide parks and recreation expansion (Parks GO Bond) that our voters approved in 2018.
City Council is committed to improving water quality and will continue to work closely with other local, state, and federal officials on solutions to water quality issues. The Waterway Advisory Board, which Council created, provides valuable input and recommendations concerning decisions regarding the city’s waterways.
As we head into 2022, we will be extending utilities to property owners in the northeastern part of the city. Future expansion areas will be determined in the coming months. The extension of our utilities is necessary for the environment and the city’s future economic development.
Cape Coral is a great city with a bright future. We appreciate the continued support from our residents, visitors, and businesses.
I wish you and your family a happy holiday season.
One of the primary responsibilities of your City Council is the adoption of the annual operating budget. The annual budget is among the most important documents a local government produces and the budget process is an undertaking that requires a great deal of consideration by the City Council. The budget allocates limited resources among various priorities deemed important for the organization and the community.
Cape Coral City Council adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget on September 29 following two public hearings, several joint meetings with the Budget Review Committee, and months of preparations. Council lowered the millage rate from 6.375 mills to 6.25 mills following an overall increase of 10.88 percent in taxable property values in Cape Coral. The increased taxable values from $16.6 billion to $18.4 billion is below the city's peak of $21.7 billion in 2007.
The FY 22 budget allows the City to expand public safety, invest in infrastructure, improve facilities and city amenities, add more sidewalks, attract businesses, protect our environment, beautify neighborhoods, and strengthen our charter schools.
The annual budget is one of the most important documents a local government produces. It functions as a roadmap for accomplishing the financial, infrastructure and service delivers goals we establish for the upcoming year. It allocates limited resources for the community and the organization with input from staff, elected officials, citizen volunteers appointed to the Budget Review Committee, and the public.
Welcome to our new monthly e-newsletter, Cape Connect. Through recent surveys and information gathered by the Florida Institute of Government as part of our strategic planning process we learned that many residents prefer to receive city news and information delivered to their email inbox.