Published: Aug 18, 2010 4:02 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 18, 2010 1:03 AM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A Cape Coral neighborhood paid its own way to beautify their street; but now they'd like the city to chip in to help maintain their new palms.

Neighbors paid out of their own pockets for the palms and landscapping that now line the median on Sands Boulevard; perhaps no one has put in more than Chuck Liptak.

"I wanted this median to look beautiful, I think it does now," Liptak said.  "I probably have got 14-thousand invested in this."

Besides rounding up the original support for the project, Liptak is now maintaining it.  He got the OK for the project by promising to keep it trimmed.  However, recent lung surgery has made that work difficult.

Now he'd like the city to help out,  saying it would be their benefit: their boulevard beautification helped sell a long-vacant property next door.

'It sold after the people from Canada saw this," he said, pointing to the palms.  "They said, this is the place to buy, on this street."

The city does maintain major medians, like the newly widened Santa Barbara Boulevard; and the council helps out some private neighborhoods.

But the Sands' project promise of self-maintenance kept it out of a recent public works contract.

"The key is to make certain before we sign a contract is to make sure we know exactly what's included," said council member Kevin McGrail, who says it's possible for the city to take over the Sands maintenance.

"If people are willing to contribute to make the city of Cape Coral look nice, why isn't the City of Cape Coral willing to pitch in?"  Liptak said.

The city is looking into the costs to take over median maintenance on Sands Boulevard, which could come before council in the coming weeks.