City Council to vote on Cape Coral CRA future
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Cape Coral's Community Redevelopment Agency is one step closer to being shut down.
The city manager, John Szerlag, is spearheading the closure, saying the agency just isn't making enough money to support itself.
Another special meeting in Cape Coral late Monday to continue the city manager’s mission to shut down the Community Redevelopment Agency.
City manager Szerlag says the numbers just don't add up.
"The operations debt services about $1.7 million dollars and that exceeds their projected revenues of about $1.2 million," Szerlag says.
The folding of the CRA, which is responsible for downtown development, would replace the agency with city council taking over their roles.
CRA board chairman Rich Greer says it's not a good idea.
"It came out of the clear blue," Greer says.
In fact, Greer says the CRA is in a good position to stay afloat. "But I have a bar chart that disproves that, so that's what this is all about."
The CRA claims it created hundreds of jobs and businesses in downtown Cape Coral.
Greer thinks folding the CRA is for other reasons. "I could only speculate. I have a lot of reasons to speculate.”
The city manager fired back. "The issue is purely economic in terms of sustainability." Szerlag says.
Most on city council agree. "But darn it, this really comes down to a business decision, it's not a personal decision," Council member Kevin McGrail says.
It's the second time in 7 months closing the CRA has been discussed. But this time, it could be for keeps. Some residents think they should stay put.
“They're caring, they work the streets of downtown Cape Coral, they are here among the people."
Where does it all go from here? City council will vote on unfolding the CRA October 29th.