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$17 million contract for Festival Park on today’s Council agenda

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Feb 21, 2024

Long-awaited improvements that would officially add Festival Park to the city of Cape Coral’s “community park” roster, may finally be coming.

Among Cape Coral City Council’s lengthly consent agenda for Wednesday’s meeting is a $17 million construction contract for development of the site adjacent to Argosy Lake and Seahawk Park.

The contract with Burke Construction Group, Inc. base bid amount is $16,980,939.63 with a 5% city-controlled contingency of $849,046.98 for a total project amount of $17,829,986.61.

The contract calls for substantial completion of 450 days.

Festival Park, with much of its 200-plus acres purchased a lot at a time over two decades, was envisioned as a sports and special events complex able to host large events, such as the city’s Coconut Festival.

The park will have two main areas — four fenced multi-use sports fields and an amphitheater with grass seating.

Other improvements include a concession/restroom building and paved parking.

The new community park is a component of the $60 million general obligation bond initiative voters approved in 2018 for the expansion of the city’s parks system, including upgrades to existing facilities.

Hurricane Ian delayed construction of some of the parks, including Festival Park.

The Yacht Club master plan is also among Wednesday’s consent agenda.

Consent agenda items are not subject to Council discussion unless a member of Council “pulls” that matter for board input.

Included in Resolution 56-24, city staff also would be authorized to follow direction Council provided at a workshop on Jan. 17 to include a fourth level to the planned parking garage at the Yacht Club, as well as continuing the discussion for a finger pier in the future.

The resolution also includes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Burrowing Owl Habitat Protection Grant. Staff direction included bringing forward a grant agreement, as well as beginning the acquisition process with closing occurring as soon as May.

Also on the Consent Agenda

• Health and Sanitation Code Compliance Enhancements. This would bring forward an “ordinance with updated language to references from six months to within one year throughout.”

• Resolution 56-24. This resolution would allow staff to craft changes and meet with City Council regarding council rules for “checking in with the mayor prior to leaving dais temporarily,” as well as the “process for allowing citizen return to council chambers following removal.”

n Resolution 60-24. The resolution would allow for four new position classifications, the abolishment of 15 job classifications, elimination of two pay grades from the General Union, the addition of one pay grade to the non-bargaining salary schedule, and the increase of pay ranges for three non-bargaining pay grades.

Study results from Segal on Nov. 8 showed that several classifications for the City of Cape Coral were below the 75th percentile for salary or wages compared to surveyed cities, according to agenda documents.

According to the city, “the proposal reallocates approximately 380 general union and 24 non-bargaining employees, increasing pay from 0 to 10.27%.”

The estimated cost would be $300,000 for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year.

• Resolution 60-24. Would allow the addition of four full-time equivalents for the Bureau of Fire Prevention, three fire inspectors and one fire plans examiner for $631,825.


• Introduction of ordinance 12-24, which updates the Utility Expansion Fee for the North 1 East Utility Expansion Area. According to the ordinance, “projects local facilities are to be installed by the city and paid for from the proceeds of utility assessments imposed on all property owners in the North 1 East Utility Expansion Area.”

The impact fee increases would affect Cape Coral property owners looking to build a new home on their lot with the hike to be phased in over four years.

The proposed fee schedules includes an increase for single service and dual service for single-family, semi-detached, and multi-family structures.

The fee is broken down into single family/semi-detached with a 5/8-inch meter size for a $2,551 fee for single service and $1,106 for dual service. All muti-family structures per dwelling unit for 5/8-inch meter is $1,760 fee for a single family and $763 for dual service.

For single service potable water only, and not irrigation, would be $476 phased in over the four years of a one-time fee.

The current fee is $2,551. The first year of the phase-in, the fee would rise to $2,789, followed by the second-year increase to $3,027, which remains the same through year four.

For water, there would be an increase of $552 over four years and $382 for irrigation in the same time frame.

The current fee is $1,106 for water. The first-year increase would rise to $1,244, followed by $1,382 in year two, $1,520 in year three and $1,658 for year four.

The current fee for irrigation is $2,254. The first-year increase would rise to $2,445, followed by $2,636 for year two through year four.

The last fees were for sewers, which were separated into District 1 and District 2.

The ordinance also states that “these legacy rates are for assessment purposes only, and any need for additional capacity will be charged at the then current rates contained in the fee schedule.”

If approved, the ordinance will move forward to a public hearing on March 6.

The meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, in City Council chambers, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.