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"A willingness to work with us": Cape mayor updates fight for flood insurance

Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter updated Fox 4's Cape Coral Community Correspondent, Colton Chavez, about their battle to keep a 25% flood insurance discount
Posted at 9:58 PM, Apr 16, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — On Tuesday, Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter said the fight to keep a 25% flood insurance discount for homeowners, was starting to get better.

“FEMA has agreed to maintain an open line of communication,” said Gunter.

Back in early April, Mayor Gunter called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "villains" for pulling Cape Coral's 25% flood insurance discount, which would be effective on October 1, 2024.

Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter FEMA insurance
From "villains" to "a willingness to work with us": Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter talks about the progress the city has made in working with FEMA to meet the standards for the 25% flood insurance discount.

Since then, homeowners like Carl Napoletano say waiting around to see if flood insurance will get more expensive has been anything but pleasant.

“I am painfully aware of the FEMA discount fiasco,” said Napoletano.

It's hard to bear for people like Napoletano because he says the cost of living along the Caloosahatchee River had gone up, even before talks of losing the 25% discount.

“Insurance for me has probably tripled here in the last 12-14 months,” said Napoletano.

FEMA flood insurance cape coral homeowner
Cape coral homeowner Carl Napoletano said the "FEMA discount fiasco" as he called it was even harder to tolerate, because his own insurance to live along the Caloosahatchee River had tripled in the last year, before the FEMA issue came into play.

On Tuesday, Mayor Gunter told Fox 4's Cape Coral Community Correspondent, Colton Chavezthat FEMA appears to be willing to help the City of Cape Coral become compliant with its standards for the discount.

“FEMA has provided us with a designated point of contact who is committed to meeting regularly with city staff,” said Gunter.

Gunter said city staff has just under 30 days to meet FEMA’s compliance standards but also says the city has requested up to an additional 60 days if needed.

It’s news that isn't certain at this moment but is certainly appreciated by homeowners.

“I think we will probably need everybody aligned on this thing to get it done but ya, I'm encouraged, certainly encouraged,” said Napoletano.