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Cape City Council leaders discuss impact Utilities Expansion Project could have on residents

Posted at 10:56 PM, Dec 14, 2022

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Tonight, Cape Coral residents are worried they could see their utility bills increase by hundreds of dollars over the next few years.

It's part of a massive project to get all current homes and future homes on wells or septic tanks on the city’s utility system. City Council unveiling more details of that plan including how much more it could cost residents..

One of the first areas to be impacted by this is the west side of Del Prado Boulevard, close to Diplomat Parkway. Under the city’s proposal, this would be one of the first areas in the Cape to see improvements but, as we learned tonight, it’s going to cost residents.

The area falls under what the city has mapped out as area North 1 West. It will be the first to see constructions switching from wells and septic tanks onto the city’s water, sewage and utility lines.

But in order to do so, the proposal from council comes with raising rates for Cape residents on city utilities through at least 2032.

Presented by city staff, the proposal calls for a 3% increase for water and sewer services beginning March 1. A 4% increase in 2024 and 5% each year after until 2032. The average bill for someone living in Cape Coral is roughly $99. By 2032, that average could jump to $152.

And for owners of land looking to build and connect to the city’s utility lines are looking at assessments of more than $35,000. That’s without including connection costs.

According to a rate study, the time for rate adjustments is long overdue. Cape customers have not seen utility rates rise since 2013 with pay rates being the lowest in the region. But with more people moving to the city, those rates are expected to rise.

Cape City leaders say the switch to city utilities is vital for the city’s aquifer and environment. But council will still need to hear from you, holding a public hearing on this proposal at their next regularly scheduled meeting on January 11th.