GO Bond FAQs
What is a General Obligation (GO) Bond?
A general obligation bond (G.O. bond) is a form of debt obligation that, when issued, provides local government with funds to finance large capital improvements, such as those currently proposed for enhanced parks and recreational facilities.
General Obligation Bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the City of Cape Coral, which means that the City is obligated to pay back the bonds plus interest by pledging its ad valorem taxing power. As such, the City uses a portion of its property tax revenues to repay the General Obligation Bonds in the form of annual principal and interest payments. General Obligation Bonds require approval by a majority of the voters voting in a Citywide referendum.
What Can a GO Bond be Used For?
General Obligation Bonds allow the City to pay for major capital investments having a public purpose, such as quality of life enhancements related to parks, recreational facilities, and green space. Bonds are sold to investors and the proceeds from the sale of these bonds are used to pay for capital projects. Bond funds cannot be used for everyday operating costs.
Why is a GO Bond Needed?
• In 2016, the Parks Master Plan was updated after a
comprehensive study by Barth & Associates. Their
conclusion: the City of Cape Coral needs more parks
and amenities. According to the benchmarking of level
of service through NRPA, a community should have
12.1 acres per thousand residents. In the recently
developed Parks Master Plan, it has been indicated
that Cape Coral is woefully underserved with parkland
with only 4.7 acres of parkland per thousand people.
• Green space and park amenities contribute to quality
of life encouraging healthy lifestyles, a sense of
community, and providing an opportunity to get close
• While parks and recreational activities have always
been viewed as “quality of life”, doctors are routinely
handing out “park prescriptions” to patients to use
nearby parks for exercise. High levels of inactivity are
associated with chronic diseases (heart disease,
diabetes, and cancer). Parks are the perfect
prescription – NO copay!
What is Included in the GO Bond?
To summarize, Phase I of this General Obligation bond includes:
• Improvements to 20 existing parks
• The addition of 7 neighborhood and 3 community parks
• The design, permitting, and construction of Yellow Fever Creek Environmental Park
• Land acquisition
Phase II includes public private partnerships for enhanced
restaurant and retail opportunities at the Yacht Club, Crystal Lake
Park, and Cultural Park.
How Much Will It Cost?
This GO bond will help provide the residents of Cape Coral with access to numerous new recreation and leisure opportunities city-wide, and it is estimated that a 15 Year, $60 million bond could cost the typical homeowner an average of $55.50 in additional property taxes.(*based on the median Cape Coral taxable value of $150,000). The bond would cost 37 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value for the first year.
Neighborhood Park or Community Park..What's the Difference?
Neighborhood Parks Purpose: Meet residents’ basic recreation, fitness, and social needs - in a warm, inviting, environment within a walking or bicycling distance (1 – 2 miles) from their homes
Size: 5- 10 acres
Basic Amenities (e.g. Joe Stonis Park):
• 8’ wide, paved, multi-purpose path
• Shaded playground
• Shade trees
• Small group picnic pavilion(s) for family gatherings, birthday parties, family reunions, etc.
• Picnic tables, site furnishings
• Multi-purpose lawn areas for pick-up games, special events
Small Community Parks Purpose: Meet needs of surrounding neighborhoods plus additional facilities such as:
• Tennis courts
• Pickleball courts
• Athletic fields
• Other amenities desired by residents such as concessions, trails, and canoe/kayak access.
Location: Ideally, located within 3 miles of every resident.
Several of the City’s single-dimensional athletics complexes have the potential to become Small Community Parks by adding additional facilities and amenities.
Large Community Parks Purpose: Large, multi-purpose parks that offer something for everyone. In addition to the facilities and amenities provided by the Neighborhood and Small Community Parks, Large Community Parks may also provide:
• Natural areas
• Food truck staging areas
• Dog parks
• Outdoor cafes
• Skate parks
• Tennis or pickleball complexes
• Trails system
• Moveable outdoor seating and hammocks
• Equipment rentals for bicycles, kayaks, paddleboards, fishing rods, and/or other recreation equipment
What's the Timeline?
What's the timeline?
2019-2020 public input meetings will be conducted to develop site plans
2019-2021 park improvements to existing parks will begin
2020-2023 permitting and design for new parks begin
2020-2026 construction of 7 new neighborhood parks
2022-2028 development of community parks
2027-2028 development of Yellow Fever Creek environmental park
Where Do I Get More Information?
Where do I get more information?
The 2016 Parks Master Plan can be viewed at www.capecoral.gov/ParksMP.
To view the G.O. Bond Park Elements that were presented to City Council, click here.
To view quarterly Parks GO Bond updates, click here.
For more information, call 239-573-3128.
What is going on with the Yacht Club project after Hurricane Ian?
Due to extensive damage caused by Hurricane Ian, the Yacht Club Community Park project is now being treated as a separate special project from the rest of the Parks GO Bond. City Council is scheduled to discuss the future of the Yacht Club in more depth during Council meetings, retreats, and workshops in early 2023. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.