December 2021
A Message from Mayor John Gunter
Happy holidays to our residents and visitors. Welcome back to our snowbirds.
 
As I wrap up my first year as your mayor, it has been an honor serving the Cape Coral community. The end of the year is a time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead.
 
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, this has been a productive year. The City witnessed significant economic growth. The City has five large-scale multi-family developments in the works and several thousand square feet of commercial projects under construction. More than 4,000 new construction building permits were issued in 2021, and the most recent population estimates indicate that just over 200,000 live in Cape Coral.
 
One of the primary responsibilities of the City Council is to adopt the annual operating budget. Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2022 budget in September, and we lowered the millage rate from 6.375 to 6.250. This budget allows us to expand public safety and invest in our infrastructure. We want Cape Coral to remain one of the safest cities in Florida.
 
We broke ground on four new parks and looking forward to breaking ground on others in the coming year. These parks are part of the citywide parks and recreation expansion (Parks GO Bond) that our voters approved in 2018.
 
City Council is committed to improving water quality and will continue to work closely with other local, state, and federal officials on solutions to water quality issues. The Waterway Advisory Board, which Council created, provides valuable input and recommendations concerning decisions regarding the city’s waterways.
 
As we head into 2022, we will be extending utilities to property owners in the northeastern part of the city. Future expansion areas will be determined in the coming months. The extension of our utilities is necessary for the environment and the city’s future economic development.
 
Cape Coral is a great city with a bright future. We appreciate the continued support from our residents, visitors, and businesses.
 
I wish you and your family a happy holiday season.
Regards,
Same-Day Pickup of Garbage, Recycling, and Yard Waste Coming in January 2022
Same-Day Pickup Coming to Cape Coral in January 2022

Cape Coral is teaming up with Waste Pro to start the New Year with a clean slate. 
 
Beginning in early January, bulk waste, garbage, recycling, and yard waste will all be collected on the same day. 
 
Keep an eye out for more information as next year approaches. You can check for updates on www.capecoral.gov - go to Departments, select Public Works from the drop-down menu, then select “Trash, Yard Waste, Recycling FAQs.”  
 
Be a part of the solution, not pollution!

No changes to the schedule will take place in December. If you need to see your current schedule for garbage, recycling, and yard waste pickup, check it here:
Parks and Recreation News
It has been a season of growth for our Parks and Rec department. In 2018, Cape Coral voters approved a 15-year General Obligation (GO) bond for sixty million dollars to fund park improvements throughout the city.  
 
After a great deal of planning, improvement projects are starting to come to fruition! New playgrounds, picnic shelters, lighting, playground shade coverings, and other enhancements are beginning to take shape in select parks. In addition, the city held groundbreaking ceremonies at four new neighborhood park locations during October. For more information, including concept plans and recreation improvements throughout Cape Coral, visit the Parks GO Bond section of the city’s website at www.capecoral.gov/GObond
 
The Parks GO Bond also includes significant improvements to the Yacht Club Community Park. Cape Coral residents and visitors have been enjoying the waterfront amenities of the Yacht Club Community Park since it opened in 1962. In 2020, City Council approved a new concept plan for the park, including an expanded beach area, a new playground, relocation of the boat ramp, seawall replacement, and a parking garage. More details and renderings are available at www.CCYachtClub.com
 
Trying to operate the facilities during heavy construction presents significant safety risks, which is why the city decided to close the entire Yacht Club Community Park facility, with the exception of the Boathouse restaurant, during construction. This closure includes the beach, pier, boat ramp, pool, Rotino Center, tennis courts, etc. The project is tentatively scheduled to begin in April 2022, with construction expected to take 20-24 months to complete. The staff has been working on relocation assistance for vessels docked in the marina and alternative locations for meetings and programs while the Yacht Club is closed for construction. We realize this closure presents a challenge to our community, and we appreciate everyone’s patience.
 
Finally, it’s a new era for Sun Splash Family Waterpark. The city has entered into a partnership with ProParks, who will oversee onsite operations of the park starting with the 2022 Season. ProParks is uniquely suited to operate facilities like Sun Splash, so we are excited about the partnership and new opportunities it will present to our community. 

Stay up-to-date on the latest by visiting the Parks and Recreation page here: 
Holiday Happenings
around Cape Coral
Holiday Festival of Lights
December 4th on Cape Coral Parkway from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM  

Holiday Boat-A-Long
December 18th at Four Freedoms Park from 4:00 PM –  9:00 PM

To stay up-to-date on other city happenings, visit:
Cape Coral Police Partners with Community Organizations
To celebrate the holiday season, the Cape Coral Police Department is partnering with organizations throughout our community to benefit those in need.

Events include:
15th Annual Fill the Boat Toy Drive
Friday, December 3rd from 9:00am-5:00pm
Saturday, December 4th from 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, December 5th from 10:00am-6:00pm
Walmart Supercenter 1619 Del Prado Blvd. S.
CCPD will be collecting new unwrapped toys for children in Cape Coral.

Children’s Network of Southwest Florida Toy Drive
Wednesday, December 8th
Oasis Middle School 
Cape Coral Elementary
Oasis Elementary
CCPD will be collecting new unwrapped toys during each school’s parent drop-off.

19th Annual Shop with a Cop
Monday, December 20th 9:00am-11:00am
Walmart Supercenter 1619 Del Prado Blvd. S. 
CCPD officers will be paired with a child, and they will shop for themselves and family members.

Fire Department Collecting Toys for Annual Toy Drive
Just a reminder that now through December 13th, the Cape Coral Fire Department will be collecting toys and gifts for children in our community who have special needs, suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer, are in foster care, or have families struggling with financial difficulties. Donations for boys and girls of all ages (newborn to 17 years) are needed. Gifts for teens are often in short supply. Please consider donating gift cards, makeup, body soaps and lotions, perfume or cologne, arts and crafts supplies, sports equipment, or entertainment items for this age group.

If you would like to contribute, please bring a new, unwrapped toy or gift to any of the Cape Coral fire stations by Monday, December 13th.  
 

 
If you have a business or a group that would like to partner with the Cape Coral Fire Department for toy collections or if you or someone you know could use a little help this year, please contact aschuch@capecoral.net or call (239) 242-3303.

For a list of fire stations, visit:
Firefighters Urge Everyone to Help "Keep the Wreath Green"
The Cape Coral Fire Department’s annual “Keep the Wreath Green” fire safety campaign will begin on Wednesday, December 1. For the ninth year, Cape Coral firefighters will place a wreath illuminated with green bulbs at Fire Station 4, located at 2007 Santa Barbara Boulevard. One green bulb will change to red if a preventable fire such as cooking, smoking, holiday decorations, or candles, occurs between December 1 and January 1.

Though fire safety should be a year-round priority, particular precautions need to be taken during the holiday season, too. The “Keep the Wreath Green” campaign serves as a reminder of this. With the hectic holiday season, it is easy for families to become complacent about fire safety. “As everyone gets busier during the holidays, we often become rushed, distracted or tired,” says Fire Chief Ryan W. Lamb, “And with the additional use of decorative lighting, live Christmas trees, increased cooking activities, and the burning of candles, the risk of fire in homes increases.”

Fortunately, with some added awareness and some minor adjustments to holiday cooking and decorating, the season can remain festive and safe for everybody. To prevent these holiday fires and to help “Keep the Wreath Green,” the Cape Coral Fire Department offers these holiday safety tips:

Decorations:
  • Choose holiday decorations carefully, using those only made of flame-resistant, flame-retardant, or non-combustible materials.
  • Keep decorations away from heat sources. Nearly half of the fires that began with decorations occurred due to the decoration’s proximity to a heat source.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors that might be needed as a means of escape.

Candles:
  • Keep candles at least 12” away from decorations or other combustible materials. Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.
  • Never leave candles unattended. Extinguish them when you leave the room.
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over.

Lights:
  • Use only lights listed by an independent testing laboratory and pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Closely inspect all holiday lighting before use to ensure all wires, bulbs, and connections are in a safe condition. Discard any lights with exposed wires, broken insulation, cracked or missing bulbs, or other defects.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights, so the cords do not become damaged.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Christmas trees:
  • Before purchasing an artificial tree, be sure the manufacturer identifies it as fire-retardant.
  • When choosing a live Christmas tree, look for signs of freshness by lightly pulling branches through your closed fist. Fresh trees should retain their needles during this test.
  • Have the tree lot operator provide a “fresh cut” by removing 1-2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Immediately place the tree in water and add water daily. Keep a close check on the dryness of the tree and remove the tree when needles easily fall off.
  • Ensure the tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.

 Cooking:
  • When frying, grilling, or broiling, stay in the kitchen. Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time.
  • When simmering, boiling, baking, or roasting food, stay in the home and check on it frequently; use a timer as a reminder if necessary.
  • Create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.

 Smoking:
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays and wet cigarette butts with water before discarding them.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, away from children.
  • Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and practice fire escape plans with all family members and holiday guests.

“The holidays can quickly turn from joyful to tragic when a fire occurs,” says Public Affairs Specialist Andrea Schuch, “by taking simple precautions, Cape Coral residents and visitors can stay safe, have holidays that are healthy and happy, and avoid potential fire hazards to ‘Keep the Wreath Green.’”
Cape Coral Receives Recognition in Multiple Categories this Year
City Wins Utility of the Future Award

The Water Environment Federation’s “Utility of the Future Today Award” was presented to the City of Cape Coral at a recent City Council meeting. The award celebrates the achievements of forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing value-added service to communities.
The President of the Florida Water Environment Association presented the award to Jeff Pearson, Cape Coral Utilities Director, who accepted on behalf of the City.

This is the second time in four years the City of Cape Coral has won the award. 

Cape Coral Named in Top 10 of Digital Cities Survey

The City of Cape Coral earned the Digital Cities Award from The Center for Digital Government (CDG). The Center for Digital Government recognizes cities using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity, and more. The City is in the top 10-ranking among other cities in our population category of 125,000 to 249,000. The top 10-ranking cities in each of five population categories will be honored during the 20th Anniversary Digital Cities Awards and Workshop event in December. 

“I attribute our success to the hard work and efforts put forth by our team to harness new technology, and I hope our work enhances the lives of residents and visitors to our City,” said Michelle Hoffmann, Director of ITS for the City of Cape Coral.  

 The Center for Digital Government is a national research, and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.
Cape Coral Recognized in Top 50 Leading Fleets 2021

Success is not fleeting in the City of Cape Coral! Our Fleet Management Division has once again earned a spot on the “Top 50 Leading Fleets” by Government Fleet magazine and the American Public Works Association. The awards program recognizes operations performing at a high level, particularly in fleet leadership, competitiveness, efficiency, planning for the future, and overcoming challenges. This year marks the fourth consecutive year Cape Coral has been recognized with the prestigious annual award for being the best of the best.  

The 50 Leading Fleets were judged by a panel of their peers and represent the industry’s best. Judges rank their selections for the top 50 government fleets, including United States and Canadian agencies. Cape Coral is listed among well-known larger competitors such as San Diego, San Antonio, and Phoenix. 

Cape Coral attained an ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Shop designation for both 2020 & 2021, one of only 175 government entities that currently have this recognition. Over 75% of Fleet Management technicians are ASE certified, offering the best, most qualified service to the community. 

AJ Forbes, Fleet Manager, is incredibly proud of his team. “Fleet Management staff go above and beyond to keep the City’s instrumental resources in a safe, ready condition. We support departments that provide critical services to the community, and we literally keep them moving.” The Fleet Division maintains and services an assortment of over 1,700 assets, ranging from bobcats to fire trucks. The City’s fleet encompasses over 20 departments, including the highly visible response vehicles for Public Works, Utilities, Fire, and Police, and the bus line for the Charter Schools.  

Rob Hernandez, Cape Coral City Manager, cited the City’s strong support for infrastructure. “Fleet Management is one of many important underlying functions of the City. Every branch of community service Cape Coral provides is supplemented by the direct support of City vehicles and equipment. Ensuring we can properly accommodate resident needs is our priority, and a fully functional fleet is imperative to that purpose.”

The complete listing of the 2021 Leading Fleets is available here:
Own a Rental Property in the City? Registration is Now Required
Residential rental properties with four dwelling units or less that are rented to another person or entity are now required to be registered in the city. Residential rental properties that are owner-occupied do not require registration.
 

There is a one-time registration fee of $35. Multiple units may be registered under a single registration ($35 total), if each unit is located on the same parcel and the owner is the same for all units.

Registration includes contact information including, the legal name of the owner (individual or company name), direct mailing address, email address (if any), and telephone number for a person or entity responsible for responding to any nuisances, code violations, and emergencies that may arise at the residential rental property.

Report an Issue to the City 24/7
The City of Cape Coral's 311 Action Center, formerly known as the Citizen's Action Center, offers citizens a way to obtain information about city services, ask questions of city staff, report non-emergency issues, and submit service requests.
 
There are several ways to reach the 311 Action Center:
 
Online: Click here to email the 311 Action Center or visit capecoral.gov and select “Report an issue” among the quick links found in the middle of the homepage.

 
Telephone: Dial 3-1-1 or (239) 574-0425. Telephone lines are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
 
Other Helpful Phone Numbers:

Emergencies: 911

Police Department:  (239) 574-3223 (non-emergency)   

Water Main Breaks:  (239) 242-3400 (after hours water main breaks)

Mayor and City Council Offices: (239) 574-0436

City Hall: (239) 574-0401

Your City Councilmembers
1015 Cultural Park Boulevard Cape Coral, FL