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Cape Coral to close legacy assessments and issue about $19 million in refunds

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The City of Cape Coral will be closing the books on about 54,000 accounts associated with the legacy utilities assessment areas from the 1990s. The City will issue refunds of the remaining cash balance in each account to current property owners. The estimated total amount to be refunded from nine assessment areas is about $19 million. Three of the larger projects ended last year – Green Wastewater, Striped Green Wastewater and Orange Water & Wastewater. These three project areas, along with a fourth project (Orange Irrigation), represent more than 96 percent of the total balance to be refunded. “We are preparing the appropriate final resolutions for City Council authorization to issue these refunds,” said City Manager John Szerlag. “We expect the resolutions to be presented to Council by April, and all refunds to be issued by mid-June.” Refunds will be issued to the “current” property owner of record and not to any prior owner of the property. The current owner will receive the refund because the added value of a City utilities project stays with the property. The cost of the project is assessed on the “benefited” property and not a particular property owner. All refund amounts will include any interest earned over the period of the loans less administrative costs to issue the refunds. These legacy assessments were the result of one of the largest utilities expansion efforts in Cape Coral. In the 1990s, utilities construction encompassed most of the developed city (southeast Cape) as areas received water, sewer and/or irrigation lines and new roads. “It is important to point out that the City used a different project delivery method and financing plan with these older projects in the 1990s, which resulted in larger balances at the end of the loan,” added Szerlag. “We do not expect this to occur on the same level with any recently completed projects in the southwest Cape or any subsequent projects and assessments in the city.” The following list shows the legacy areas and estimated balances to be refunded. The exact refund amount will not be finalized until the resolutions are adopted by City Council. Green Water & Irrigation $ 238,000 Blue Irrigation $ 120,000 Diplomat Water $ 302,000 Santa Barbara Water $ 44,000 Trafalgar North Water $ 40,000 Orange Irrigation $ 3,300,000 Striped Green Wastewater $ 407,000 Green Wastewater $ 4,990,000 Orange Water & Wastewater $ 9,800,000

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