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Homeowners with hurricane damages say now is not the time for city's utility extension project in Cape Coral

Cape Utility Extension Project
Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-27 18:29:56-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The City of Cape Coral is moving forward with its next phase in converting homes to city water.

City leaders said this next phase is taking place in the city’s northeast quadrant, with a notice to proceed with construction set to go out sometime in April 2023.

The project is called the North 1 West Utilities Extension Project, below is the area it will impact.

Courtesy: City of Cape Coral

City leaders said the maximum cost of the conversion from well water to city water will cost each home around $35,000.

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.

The possible $35,000 price tag had residents like John Miehle saying the city council should put a pause on the project.

“We are in the middle of a hurricane recovery every house on this street had everything they owned from the inside of their house out on the street and hauled away,” said Miehle.

On March 22, the Final Assessment Resolution was approved by City Council at their Regular Council Meeting.

City leaders say It's anticipated that the construction Notice To Proceed of this phase will be issued in April 2023.

The project should take approximately a 2-year construction duration and is anticipated to be completed by early 2025.

At that meeting back on March 22, Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter said the project is needed in order to keep up with the growing population.

“I think that we have to make sure that we are planning for the future part of that future is water and sewer throughout our city,” said Mayor Gunter.

City leaders said each home could end up paying less than $35,000 and it would be spread out over the next 20 to 30 years.

Miehle said he has owned several homes in Cape Coral, so we asked him if the city’s switch is necessary.

“Absolutely I have been saying that from the first. I said we got to do this because we can't continue putting wastewater in the ground,” said Miehle.

City leaders said there is a Hardship Program that is based on a family's income and can defer the annual payments, for more info on that click here.