Cape Coral adds additional neighborhood to UEP

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The Cape Coral City Council approved adding an extra neighborhood to its next phase of the Utilities Extension Project (UEP).

Residents of the neighborhood between Old Burnt Store Road and Burnt Store Road, north of Embers Parkway, will soon be faced with a huge bill and major construction.

The goal of the UEP is to switch homes from well water to city water. Neighborhoods throughout the city have been turned into construction zones for months at a time, costing homeowners thousands of dollars.

One of the next areas set for work is the area north of Pine Island Road. Monday, the city council approved a recommendation to add the neighborhood north of Embers Parkway to the North 2 zone.

“We had no idea that it was coming, the last we heard was a few years ago and it got canceled and we haven’t heard anything since,” said Shawn Johnson.

The city says it makes sense from an engineering standpoint to add the neighborhood, but Johnson, who recently paid $5,000 to install a reverse osmosis system, says she wishes the city had warned her.

“I wish they would have sent out better communication, that we would have known, if we’d have known that this was on the radar for the next year, we maybe not would’ve made that investment,” said Johnson.

Cape Coral says construction on the zone labeled as “North 2” won’t start until next summer, and is expected to take about a year and a half to complete. The cost to homeowners should be fairly similar to the other zones at $16,000-$18,000 for construction and other fees.

“It just seems like it’s really long for a project we should have under control by now,” said Johnson.

Other homeowners are happy about being added to the project.

“I just want city water, prefer that over reverse osmosis,” said Joe Gscheidmeier.

The next step is to begin design work on the construction, then the project will be bid on.

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