CAPE CORAL, FLA. -- It's a decision two years in the making.
Cape Coral's city council has voted to use almost $800,000 of your money to improve the habitat of an endangered bird. The money is coming out of the city's general fund.
The small scrub jay has caused some heated controversy for the city of Cape Coral.
But in a six to two vote, Cape Coral's city council made the decision to improve the endangered bird's habitat in Alva, and to spend thousands of dollars of your money to do it.
By improving the bird's habitat in Alva the city in turn will get a permit to build a park, called Festival Park, in the north Cape where current scrub jays are found.
And the permit is good city-wide, so residents can also build where the birds live, without having to pay for special federal permits which can cost thousands of dollars.
But council member Chris Chulakes-Leetz opposes the move. He says paying this money will not help the birds because it doesn't involve physically moving them to a new home. "The incidental take permit basically gives us permission to bulldoze their habitat and if the little birdies happen to be home at the time? We can incidentally kill them," he said.
Others like Marty McClain say two years is enough time for talking. "We as a governing body, an elected body, need to support what staff has done over the past few years and move this forward," he said.
Cape Coral's mayor also opposed the vote. The new permit is expect to take affect in January