Cape Coral hosts forum to discuss city’s vision plan

What will the City of Cape Coral look like in the next 20, 25 or even 30 years?

That’s what city leaders are hoping to decide. They hosted a meeting Tuesday for the Cape Coral vision plan which will help guide the city for decades.

Cape Coral residents said their priorities are education, jobs, the environment and parks.

“This is the third or fourth meeting that the council has been involved in to try to develop what our vision is, our mission and our goals and priorities to make sure that we can implement that vision,” said Mayor John Gunter.

Angela Crist, director of the Florida Institute of Government at the University of South Florida, said many people have many opinions of what’s best and next.

“We heard a lot about education, whether that was K through 12 or higher ed,” Crist said. “We heard a lot about workforce, a lot about the environment protecting it, park land. We also heard about more amenities and what are those amenities, and so whether that’s boating destinations or cultural arts and you see all of that in all of the goals. Everything we heard is included.”

The top picks were public safety, environmental protection and preservation of parkland.

Bringing more business to Cape Coral in order to reduce the number of people that have to cross one of the bridges is also top of mind.

For Stephen Theroux, it’s water quality that needs a greater emphasis.

“Today I can go over to my dock and look down and the water is dark, you can’t even see the bottom anymore, and I haven’t seen one crab in I don’t know how long, and the fish are just very few and far between,” Theroux said.

John Benedict wants the city to prioritize infrastructure.

“With all those canals I don’t know how we’re possibly going to be able to allow 400,000 people to move around the city,” Benedict said. “Of course, sewer, water distribution in the northwest section and the northeast are high critical areas.”

The city is still in the process of developing the plan. They want to host another forum to further develop their goals sometime this fall before presenting a final draft to the city council.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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