January 2022
A Message from Mayor John Gunter
Happy New Year!

Last January, I was appointed to be Mayor by our City Council, and being entrusted to lead this community is a great honor.

As the New Year begins, let us reflect on the resiliency and spirit found in our community over the past year. The pandemic brought us unexpected challenges, however, it also highlighted the fellowship that exists in our great city. Both residents and businesses have been impacted by these challenges, but we have much to celebrate. Last year was one of our most successful years in terms of growth and development activity in Cape Coral. More than 4,000 new construction permits were issued in Fiscal Year 2021 and Census estimates expect our population to exceed 200,000.

As your Mayor, I am committed to working with the City Council and our dedicated city employees to accomplish a full plate of projects, tasks, and goals this year. Together, we are excited to keep the momentum going with many projects and community improvements already in the works. The City’s newest multi-year strategic plan will be finalized soon and will serve as the foundation for our future policy-making decisions. Public safety will remain a top priority in the new year with more staffing and new police and fire training facilities. Major improvements at the Yacht Club Community Park are expected to start this Spring, and construction is getting started at several of our new neighborhood parks. These construction projects are part of the citywide voter-approved initiative to expand parks and recreation amenities. Other plans for the new year include road resurfacing, canal dredging, sidewalk construction, median landscaping, expanded broadband services, alley paving, expansion of water, sewer, and irrigation services in the northern part of the city and the installation of bubble-curtain devices that will help to keep harmful algae in the River from entering many of our canals. Additionally, the City is working to bring good-paying jobs to Cape Coral in the new year. Your City Council recently approved an ordinance that will provide business development and job creation incentives to attract new jobs to the city. 

I am committed to working with residents, our business community, community organizations, and our state and local government partners to build a bright future for Cape Coral. I expect it will be a productive year for us and appreciate the ongoing support.


Waste Pro is reporting staffing shortages due to COVID-19, and in response the City of Cape Coral is advising residents they may experience delays in yard waste pickup beginning Monday, January 10.

Cape Coral residents should continue to put out their garbage, recycling, bulk waste and yard waste on their normally scheduled days. 

To help mitigate Waste Pro’s current staffing challenges, the City has asked the company to prioritize utilizing the majority of Waste Pro’s available staff on the collection of garbage, recycling and large bulky waste items, and then yard waste.

Residents should know:

  • If you experience delayed service regarding yard waste, recycling, trash or bulky waste you are encouraged to report missed pick-ups to the City Call Center at 311.

The City and Waste Pro are asking residents to be please mindful of the amount of yard waste they place at the curb and reduce it, if possible.
Regular collections will resume as soon as collection crews are able to return to work.

*These changes do not impact the switch to Same-Day Pick-Up or the Bulk Waste Drop-Off Site. Same-Day Pick-Up will commence Monday, January 10 and the Bulk Waste Drop-Off Site is scheduled to open Tuesday, January 11.

City Employees Give Back to the Community
City employees here in Cape Coral have chosen to collaborate with and give back to the community in many ways. Their efforts benefit several outstanding local organizations that support people in need right here in Cape Coral.
The Cape Coral Police Department gives back annually through its Fill the Boat Toy Drive, 3H Exchange Food and Toy Drive, Shop with a Cop Event, and Holiday Heroes Food Drive. The Cape Coral Police Department collected toys to provide to local children in Cape Coral in hopes of brightening their Holiday Season. The department raised over $2,600.00 in monetary donations and $100.00 in gift cards used to purchase additional items for families with teenagers. During Shop with a Cop, police officers were paired with local children selected through an application process, and a gift card was provided by the "Do the Right Thing Program" so that the children could buy a gift for themselves and a family member. During the 3H Exchange Food and Toy Drive, the Cape Coral Police Department had donation bins in the lobby of their headquarters where people could drop off donations for the 3H Exchange that went to homeless, in need students and their families throughout the Lee County School District. During the Holiday Heroes Food Drive, Cape Coral Police Officers were stationed at the city's two Neighborhood Walmart locations. They collected 2,673 pounds of food and $2,239.59 in cash for the Harry Chapin Food Bank. These donations will go directly to those in need right here in our area.

Throughout December, the Cape Coral Fire Department collected 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. Cape Coral Fire Department collected donations for boys and girls of all ages (newborn to 17 years). With these efforts, the Fire Department was able to give each of the children with the foster families a gift from the man in red himself at this year's Breakfast with Santa event in December.

Finally, the entire staff came together in another initiative last month. The City of Cape Coral collected nearly 1000 lbs. of food during our recent employee food drive benefiting Cape Coral Caring Center, an emergency food pantry for SWFL and partner of the United Way.  

Our employees have joined forces with hard-working organizations and given back to the community in various ways. These are just a few. Cape Coral is a great place to live and work because of the relationships forged between our local city staff, key organizations with the mission to give back to those in need, and residents of Cape Coral.
Bulky Waste Now Included in Same-Day Trash Collection

Cape Coral is teaming up with Waste Pro to start the New Year with a clean slate. 
Beginning the week of January 10th, bulk waste, garbage, recycling, and yard waste will all be collected on the same day. 
Be a part of the solution, not pollution!

Utility Bill Updates

There are some updates and improvements coming soon in the new year that will make it easier to access and manage all your water bill information in one place!

Stay tuned to our city website for more information at the link below.

Cape Coral Police Chief Earns Top Honor
Congratulations to Chief Anthony Sizemore, selected by his peers as the Southwest Florida Police Chief Association’s 2021 Outstanding Chief Executive Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. City Manager Rob Hernandez congratulated Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore at our last City Council meeting in December on this well-deserved recognition.  
Cape Coral Police Department Receives Award

Cape Coral Police Department Receives Award 

The Cape Coral Police Department has been awarded CALEA Accreditation in Law Enforcement and Communications effective November 19, 2021. These awards remain in effect for four years, and the agency retains all privileges associated with this status during that period. CALEA Accreditation serves as the International Gold Standard for Public Safety Agencies.

The process of CALEA Accreditation begins with a rigorous self-assessment, requiring a review of policies, practices, and processes against internationally accepted public safety standards. This is followed by an assessment by independent assessors with significant public safety experience. Additionally, public feedback is received to promote community trust and engagement, and structured interviews are conducted with select agency personnel and others with knowledge to assess the agency's effectiveness and overall service delivery capacities. A governing body of twenty-one Commissioners renders the decision to accredit following a public hearing and review of all reporting documentation.

CALEA Accreditation is a continuous process and serves as the foundation for a successful, well-managed, transparent, community-focused public safety agency. To this end, an agency must maintain its accredited status by remaining in compliance with CALEA standards at all times.

The Cape Coral Police Department continually demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence through accreditation. The CALEA Accreditation indices are the Marks of Professional Excellence and will be displayed proudly by the Cape Coral Police Department.
We would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Detective Jennifer Silko and Detective Morgan Mills. We appreciate their tremendous knowledge and consistency in preparing our department for this enormous task.

See more from the Cape Coral Police Department's Newsroom here:

Cape Coral Fire Department Holiday Wrap Up
The Cape Coral Fire Department promotes two community campaigns during the holidays, “Keep the Wreath Green” and Toy Drive/Breakfast with Santa. Now that the holidays have come to an end, the Department would like to share the results of these important community programs.

Keep the Wreath Green

Each year the Department hangs a wreath of green bulbs at Fire Station 4 on Santa Barbara Blvd. Green bulbs are replaced by red if a preventable fire such as cooking, smoking, space heaters, candles, etc., occurs between December 1 and January 1. This is the ninth year of the campaign, and for the first time in its history, it ended with NO red bulbs on the wreath! While there were fires during this time, none were classified as preventable. We are so proud of the Cape Coral community for being vigilant about fire safety during the busy holiday season!!!

Toy Drive

Thanks to the generosity of the Cape Coral community, the Toy Drive and Breakfast with Santa holiday events were a huge success. The CCFD works with charities and individual families to give toys and gifts to children living in Cape Coral with special needs, cancer, and other chronic illnesses or lifelong conditions and their siblings. Our Fire Department gives to children in foster care and to children whose families are suffering financial hardships. This year 300 children received gifts, and, thanks to the incredible number of toys donated (over 2000!), each child was able to receive multiple age-appropriate gifts and stocking-stuffers to open…helping to make their holidays a lot brighter!

Bulk Waste Drop-Off Site for Residents Set to Open January 11th
The bulk waste drop-off site is a pilot program that will be implemented for one year.  After evaluating public response, the City will decide whether or not to open a permanent location.  The site will operate Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  

The bulk waste drop-off site is located on the west side of the North Cape Government Complex. The address for the complex is 1200 Kismet Parkway; however, the bulk-drop off site entrance is off NW 14th Avenue, at the western portion of the complex.

In addition, don't forget about the quarterly drop-off event located at City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Boulevard, Cape Coral. It will take place on Saturday, February 5, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and provides residents an opportunity to bring and properly dispose of bulk items and chemical waste.

Irrigation Water Storage Tanks Construction Begins

The SW Pine Island Water Storage Tanks project is currently under construction. It is located in an existing commercial area on Commercial Park Place, about one block north of SW Pine Island Rd. The project consists of two (2) 5 million gallon storage tanks and high service pumps to store and deliver treated irrigation water to north and west Cape Coral residents. During peak City watering times, irrigation piping alone does not hold enough water to meet residents' demands. Tanks and pumping facilities can store water during low demand periods and deliver them at the required pressures during high demand periods to offset peak demand.

The current project construction cost is $11.4M and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.

Nicholas Parkway East Improvements Update

The City of Cape Coral is beginning a construction project to replace water mains and install new storm drainage along an approximately 1.2-mile area of Nicholas Parkway East from Santa Barbara Boulevard to Country Club Boulevard. Other improvements consist of installing new curb and gutter and swale work. The roadway pavement will be reconstructed to help motorists better navigate the curves along the parkway. Early offsite work includes constructing storm drainage improvements from Nicholas Parkway East north along SE 2 nd Avenue, east on SE 10th Terrace, north on SE 1 st Place, then east between the houses located on the south side of SE 9th Terrace and Hunter’s Run Golf Club. More information will be mailed to residents and businesses in a project newsletter later this month. We encourage you to visit the project website now at www.NicholasParkwayEast.com and sign up for construction updates.

Parks and Recreation
GO Bond Updates

After breaking ground in the fall, the selected contractor, Waypoint, began park construction at Cultural Park and Gator Circle Park on Monday, January 3. The initial work will consist of setting up erosion and site control fencing and then performing any vegetative clearing and rough grading of the site. This work will be followed by the installation of storm drain pipes and detention ponds.

In addition, Cape Coral City Council received a quarterly update on the status of the entire Parks GO Bond during the Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, December 8. 

Much of the Council's discussion focused on the renovations at the Yacht Club Community Park, which are scheduled to begin in April 2022, and anticipated two-year park closure during construction due to safety concerns. For more details on the Yacht Club Community Park project, visit www.CCYachtClub.com

Parks and Recreation Winter/Spring Program Guide Now Available
Be sure to check out the new 2022 Winter/Spring Program Guide which contains details about all of the programs, day trips, and special events being offered in January-April. 
In addition to the electronic version, a limited supply of printed copies are available to pick up at all of our Recreation Centers, Cape Coral's two public libraries and City Hall. 
*  Note: The online version is completely interactive with over 300 links making it even easier to get details and register online!

Your City Councilmembers