November 2021
A Message from Mayor John Gunter
One of the primary responsibilities of your City Council is the adoption of the annual operating budget. The annual budget is among the most important documents a local government produces and the budget process is an undertaking that requires a great deal of consideration by the City Council. The budget allocates limited resources among various priorities deemed important for the organization and the community.
 
Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Budget at the end of September and this budget helps us to expand public safety, invest in our infrastructure, add more sidewalks than any previous year, attract businesses, protect our environment, and support our charter schools. We have been successful over the past several years by having sound financial policies in place and we reduced your property tax rate from 6.375 to 6.250 or $6.25 per $1,000 of assessed value. While I initially advocated for the rolled-back rate of 5.992, the additional $8.7 million in revenue will be used in part to increase staffing in our police, fire, and parks and recreation departments.
 
Cape Coral is among the fastest-growing cities in the nation. This impressive growth presents both benefits and challenges. The FY22 property tax rate is a good compromise that allows us to keep pace with the growth.
 
For the tenth consecutive year, the city’s property tax base increased over the previous year and property values increased 10.88 percent citywide. Florida’s “Save Our Homes” amendment restricts the annual increase of the assessed value of homesteaded properties to the lesser of three percent or the percent change in the National Consumer Price Index. For FY22, homesteaded properties are limited to an increase of about 1.4 percent. Non-homesteaded properties are limited to a 10 percent increase. 
 
The FY22 budget went into effective October 1, 2021, as our fiscal year is October 1 through September 30. We will begin work on our next budget at the beginning of the new year.
 
In addition to passing the budget, your City Council recently adopted stricter fertilizer regulations to help improve our local waterways. The Waterway Advisory Board recommended changes to the fertilizer regulations that have been in place for more than a decade. The Waterway Advisory Board makes recommendations and provides input on decisions concerning the city’s waterways.
 
Looking ahead, the City’s updated strategic plan will be finalized in the coming months; and we hope to share some important economic development news about future projects planned for Cape Coral.
 
I encourage residents to stay informed about city issues that are important to them. There are many ways to participate in the decision-making process and provide us with your input. I look forward to what we can accomplish when we work together as a community in the new fiscal year. 

For more from Mayor Gunter, click here.

Regards,
Council Changes Fertilizer Ordinance to Help Improve Water Quality
In October, the Cape Coral City Council adopted a stronger fertilizer ordinance to help improve water quality.

The council voted unanimously in favor of changing the original ordinance adopted in 2010, and the revisions come after many workshops and public discussions to mitigate algae blooms. 

Changes to the fertilizer restrictions in the city include:

  • The fertilizer-restricted zone, located along waterways, increased from 10 feet to 15 feet.
  • The prohibited application period remains June 1 through September 30. However, the City Manager is authorized to extend this period to include the month of May when necessary (e.g., presence of blue-green algae, hurricanes).
  • Phosphorus fertilizer is not permitted to be used at any time unless a soil test, performed in the past 2 years, identifies a phosphorus deficiency. 
  • The City will check state-regulated certifications prior to issuing a business license. Florida requires commercial fertilizer applicators to hold a 4-year license.
  • The City will host a voluntary educational program for fertilizer retailers.
  • With consent, Code Officers can sample fertilizer tanks and spreaders, at the City’s expense, for analysis in the City’s certified lab at the City's expense. 
Fire Department Hosts Open House Nov. 6
Parks GO Bond News:
Groundbreaking Ceremonies Held at
Four New Neighborhood Parks
The City hosted four groundbreakings in October for new neighborhood parks. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at the future sites of Cultural Park, Gator Circle Park, Joe Coviello Environmental Park, and Sands Park.

A $60 million voter-approved referendum and expansion of the city's parks and recreation amenities, called the Parks General Obligation (GO) Bond, will fund seven new neighborhood parks, the development of three community parks, and improvements to 17 existing parks.

Residents living near Cultural Park, Gator Circle Park, Joe Coviello Park, and Sands Park can expect to see construction taking place at these parks sometime in January. In the meantime, other construction activities such as permitting are taking place.
 
Fire Department Collecting Toys for Annual Toy Drive
From November 26 until December 13, 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.
“Last year, over 1,500 children received toys,” said Fire Chief Ryan W. Lamb, “This year due to the impact of COVID-19, we expect the need to be even greater. We are grateful that through the continued support and generosity of the Cape Coral community, we are able to help our neighbors enjoy the holiday season, which they may not otherwise be able to do.”

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 13:

Station 1 – 4610 Coronado Parkway
Station 2 – 701 Nicholas Parkway
Station 3 – 1627 Everest Parkway
Station 4 – 2007 Santa Barbara Boulevard
Station 5 – 1029 Diplomat Parkway
Station 6 – 4540 Chiquita Parkway
Station 7 – 3942 Burnt Store Road N
Station 8 – 707 SW 1st Street
Station 9 – 4107 Pelican Boulevard
Station 10 – 3623 Gator Circle West
Station 11 - 1038 Burnt Store Road

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.
Applications for Police Department's Annual "Shop With A Cop" Now Open
To celebrate the holiday season, the Cape Coral Police Department is hosting its 19th Annual “Shop With A Cop” event on Monday, December 20, 2021. The Police Department is now accepting applications for this year’s “Shop with a Cop.”

The event allows officers to spend positive one-on-one time with children of families struggling during these difficult times. This year especially, there are more children than ever whose families are having financial difficulties. Each year, the department chooses approximately 40 students to participate in the program. Once the team is paired off, they will be entering Super Walmart.

The “Do the Right Thing” program reinforces the idea of sharing and giving while promoting the idea that law enforcement role models are crucial to the development of our youth. The positive one-on-one experience each student receives from “Shop with a Cop” is one that is never forgotten.


Cape Coral Opposes Changes to Methodology for Determining Flood Risk
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) significant changes to its methodology for determining flood risk prompted the Cape Coral City Council to oppose "Risk Rating 2.0" and rising flood insurance costs.

Councilmember Gloria Tate hosted a town hall meeting on the topic at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park. The venue was packed with people who wanted to know more about changes that could impact their property.

While rates for existing policy holders cannot increase more than 18 percent per year, those rates could continue rising.

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.

Vessel Control and Water Safety
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

1015 Cultural Park Boulevard Cape Coral, FL