GENERAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)
UEP stands for Utilities Extension Project.
The Utilities Extension Project (UEP) extends City water, sewer and irrigation services to previously unserved areas of the City of Cape Coral. It will include newly installed water, sewer, and irrigation lines along with fire hydrants, new lift stations, master pump stations. The project will also replace existing storm drain pipes and catch basins, as well as upgrade existing lift stations. Finally, disturbed roads within the project area will receive new asphalt.
The City of Cape Coral began its development as a low-density, rural community with septic tanks and shallow groundwater wells providing water and wastewater needs to residents. Today, these shallow wells are stressing the upper aquifer while the increasing flow of septic tank discharge is entering the groundwater and canals. Cape Coral has grown to the third largest city by land mass, and 8th largest by population in Florida, with a population over 200,000 people. This growth has spurred an increased demand for all City services, especially the extension of water and sewer systems.
The City’s potable (drinking) water source pulls groundwater from deep wells situated in the Lower Hawthorn Aquifer. The water is treated and pumped into the distribution system. The extension project will connect to this existing water supply system. The project provides the potable water lines to the property, and these lines are ready for homeowner connection. The City uses gravity for sewer connection, and transports the wastewater to local lift stations. These lift stations pump the wastewater under pressure, via force mains, to the wastewater reclamation facilities for treatment. The treated wastewater is pumped back to customers, through irrigation lines, providing water for landscaping. This reuse water is supplemented by canal water as necessary to meet peak demands. Cape Coral is a leader in water reuse technology, which is an important conservation tool.
Water quality information is published annually in the City’s Consumer Confidence/Water Quality Report and is on the City’s website under Utilities/Water Quality Report.
To better serve the City of Cape Coral, contractors are pre-qualified. Only pre-qualified contractors are permitted to bid on the project. The lowest responsive, responsible bidder is selected to perform the work. Each contractor is responsible for providing quality workmanship and keeping the project on schedule. In addition, the City is utilizing a Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI) consultant to assist City staff with inspections, material testing, public involvement, and species management during the construction process.
CONSTRUCTION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)
Constructing the new City utility system involves numerous steps. The steps are listed on the project website www.CapeCoral.gov/UEP under the construction tab: Process.
Several types of underground utility lines will be installed within the roadway or public right-of-way including potable (drinking) water, sewer, and irrigation mains in addition to force mains and transmission mains in some areas. The new sewer mains are being installed along the centerline of the street. Water and irrigation mains are placed along opposite sides of the street, typically about 5 feet from the edge of pavement.
Work will take place in the City’s Public ROW. When discussing exactly where construction will take place, it’s helpful to understand the term ROW. This term refers to property rights owned by a public entity and reserved for infrastructure. In Cape Coral, the ROW varies from street to street, but generally the City has ROW rights to approximately the first 20 feet from the edge of pavement. Survey crews will identify the ROW which typically coincides with the property line.
Construction crews typically work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Some Weekend work may be required if necessary and as approved by the City.
The installation of city utilities requires the use of heavy equipment, which means that noise is inevitable. Heavy equipment is used to dig trenches, remove asphalt, grade dirt, and perform many other construction activities. The process of installing new underground utilities will require the use of multiple pumps to remove the water from the pipe trench. The pumps will need to run 24 hours a day and can be noisy. The contractor will make every effort to place the pumps in areas that are the least intrusive to residential properties; however, the location of these pumps will be determined by construction activities and may not be adjustable. The pumps will move as pipe installation progresses.
We understand that construction is an inconvenience. Maintaining access to homes and businesses is a priority. During active trench excavation and some other activities, such as street paving or driveway construction, driveway access may be restricted. There may be times when you have to park in an area other than your driveway. Construction representatives will attempt to contact residents prior to driveway disruptions.
At times, your garbage pickup and mail delivery may be affected. Construction representatives will advise Waste Pro and the U.S. Postal Services of the construction and make them aware of upcoming activities and road closures, to minimize service disruptions. In some cases, mail will be available for pick up at the post office. Construction representatives will work with Waste Pro and the U.S. Postal Service to minimize service disruptions.
If it becomes necessary to relocate a bus stop temporarily due to construction activities, Lee County School Transportation will change the bus stops as necessary and inform the parents.
If someone in your home requires special transportation services, please contact the North 1 West UEP public information consultant for the project at 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP) or email to info@N1WestUEP.com.
Yes, streets will be repaired or replaced, and sod, sprinkler systems, and portions of driveways within the ROW will be restored to like conditions and will make the best effort.
Streets will be paved in two lifts or stages. The first lift will follow the installation of underground utilities. Typically, the timeframe between removal of the existing road and installation of the first lift of pavement will be approximately 5-6 months. The second lift of pavement will be installed after the first pavement lift to provide time for the plumber’s connection to occur.
The construction contractors will be responsible for repairing construction-related damage (not including removal of items within the City’s ROW). You may report any damage through the project website or by calling the project number 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP). A representative will contact you to assist in resolution of your claim.
The schedule for each contract varies. We will make every effort to notify residents and businesses prior to work starting. The generalized construction schedules will also be posted on the project website www.CapeCoral.gov/UEP.
Tenants, residents, and businesses will be notified of construction in their area by hand delivered or mailed notices. Construction representatives will coordinate with those affected by driveway closures, mailbox relocation, and landscaping removal, if necessary.
Safety is always the City of Cape Coral’s number one priority. Each construction site adheres to strict safety standards. Please maintain a safe distance from construction areas and discourage children from approaching construction equipment. Also, please pay strict attention to road closures and utilize the detours.
Road closures and detours will be necessary to construct this project and ensure the safety of construction crews and motorists. Detours will be clearly marked with signs prior to any road closures. Major road detours and closures are posted on the traffic advisory section of the project website www.CapeCoral.gov/UEP.
Irrigation in the ROW may be cut and capped during construction but will be repaired during restoration. Other personal items in the ROW affecting construction, such as trees, bushes and decorative items may be removed by the contractor and will not be reinstalled. Large decorative/monument style mailboxes affecting construction may be removed by the contractor as work progresses; however, the contractor will not be responsible for damage to or for reinstalling these types of mailboxes. If you would like to preserve your large decorative/monument style mailbox, you should do so prior to construction moving to your area. Standard mailboxes will be removed and reinstalled as work progresses. The contractor may remove and dispose of any items left in the ROW.
To prepare for the irrigation and potable (drinking) water pipe installations, sod and driveway aprons within the ROW will be removed. Driveway aprons and sod will be restored by contractors during the restoration phase. Sod will be restored to match the existing sod on private property.
Driveway replacement varies in accordance with the type and thickness of the existing driveway. In general, replacement is as follows:
Concrete driveway – The contractor will typically sawcut the existing driveway approximately 8 feet from the edge of the pavement to provide adequate room to install utility mains. The new driveway concrete will be replaced to match the new roadway edge of the pavement. This will normally be in the same location as the existing roadway pavement unless widening is proposed.
Paver/Painted/decorative/stamped driveway – the city’s contractor may bore under the driveway or remove and replace the section to match the existing driveway.
Upon satisfaction of certain stipulations, contractors are permitted to utilize vacant city-owned and privately-owned property to store construction supplies, equipment, and vehicles. Availability of these staging and storage areas allows the contractors to work more efficiently and reduces the overall cost of the project. Stored supplies may include piles of stone, dirt, pipes, steel, heavy equipment, vehicles, and other construction materials. Rock crushing and other intensive processing activities are limited to specific sites where the potential impacts to neighboring properties can be minimized.
No. Property Owners building a new home in North 1 are required to complete a Hold Harmless – Utility Connection Agreement as part of the permit process. Owners can elect to proceed with construction without well and septic. The certificate of occupancy will be issued once the city has completed the installation of the utilities and the building is connected to the city utility systems. Please note that construction schedules are subject to changes and delays and can significantly impact the availability of services needed to obtain the required certificate of occupancy.. Please note: construction schedules are subject to changes and delays and therefore can significantly impact the availability of services needed to obtain the required certificate of occupancy. If you elect to install a well and septic tank system, you will be required to connect to City utilities and pay all associated fees upon receipt of the Notice of Availability.
Please call 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP) to discuss concerns related to new construction in conjunction with the City’s North 1 UEP.
For questions related to the N1UEP:
please call 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP)
CONNECTION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)
Developed properties adjacent to the newly installed water and sewer utilities must connect within 180 days of the date stated in the Notice of Availability letter per city ordinance. Connection to the irrigation system is optional at this time. Undeveloped parcels are required to connect to water and sewer prior to a certificate of occupancy.
When the construction is complete and the utilities have passed inspection and are placed online, homeowners will receive a “Notice of Availability letter” from the city and must connect to the new system within 180 days.
To complete the connection to the new service, contact a local, City of Cape Coral licensed plumber. They will coordinate the connection process and explain their procedure.
The property owners or their plumbing contractors can obtain the permit for a 5/8” water meter for a typical residential home online at www.capecoral.gov. Currently the meter installation fee is $310.00 the utility account deposit is $100.00 (based upon a utility credit check) and septic abandonment permit fee is $100.00. *Rates are subject to change. These fees must be paid prior to connecting to the new utilities. After payment(s) is received, city personnel will physically install the water meter followed by inspection of the water, sewer, and irrigation service connections completed by the property owner’s plumber.
Please see Chapter 19 of the City Code of Ordinances regarding the requirements to connect. These are available on the city website or municode. Section 19-2.5 pertains to the connection to the water and sewer system.
In reference to plumbing codes for service laterals, please see the 2017 Florida Building Code-plumbing, available on the city website under building codes.
The health department requires pump-out of the septic tank prior to demolition. The septic abandonment brochure can be found on the project website www.CapeCoral.gov/UEP.
Yes, unless the property owner self-performs the work.
Well and septic systems are on private property and are not impacted by the N1UEP construction, which is conducted in the ROW. The property owner is responsible for the plumber’s connection and for disposal of any remaining equipment. The property owner can still use their well for irrigation only. If they choose to connect to the city irrigation, the property owner is responsible for the disposal of any remaining equipment.
Assessment AND FinancE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S)
The City typically obtains bonds, which the City will pay back over 20 to 30 years. The City may utilize short-term financing to accommodate project cash flow requirements.
The property owners will pay assessments. Property owners may choose from the following payment options:
Initial Prepayment Option (payment in full of any or all of the assessments before any financing has occurred);
Interim Prepayment Option (payment in full of any or all of the assessments after additional costs associated with temporary project financing, but avoids costs associated with permanent financing);
Amortized Payment Option, which provides for annual installments billed on your property tax bill for up to 30 years (unless you elect a 20- or 25-year term by signing and returning the Amortized Payment Election Form)
No. By law, special assessment proceeds can only be used for the services or facilities for which they have been imposed.
Billing and collecting assessments on the annual property tax bill saves money for everyone by reducing the administrative costs of the program. Reducing collection costs benefits the property owners who pay on time. It also provides a stable revenue source with which to fund the utility system extension project.
No. Annual assessment amounts are based on your share of the debt service for the bonds. You will be quoted a maximum annual installment amount. Generally, annual installments are less than the maximum annual amount and may vary slightly from year to year. However, you will not be billed more than the maximum annual amount.
Yes. If you make monthly payments that include an escrow for property taxes, then the non-ad valorem assessments will be added to the payment amount. You will probably be contacted by your escrow agent regarding the increase in the escrow amount. As soon as the assessment is approved, it is advisable that you contact your mortgage company or escrow agent as soon as possible after that to begin escrowing the annual installment that will be due.
Typically, if you participate in the Amortized Payment Option, you do not have to pay off the balance of the assessment if you sell the property. The assessment continues to be collected in annual installments imposed against the property regardless of the owner. However, there are some exceptions. You will be required to pay all remaining assessment balances in full if (1) the Tax Parcel is acquired by a public entity (other than the City) through condemnation, negotiated sale or otherwise, or (2) a tax certificate has been issued and remains outstanding in respect of the Tax Parcel and the City, at its sole option, elects to accelerate the assessment. The assessment is imposed annually on the tax bill for the property. However, please note that some banks and other lending institutions may require payment in full.
The City is using the tax bill collection method. Florida law requires that all ad valorem taxes and the accompanying non-ad valorem assessments be paid at the same time. If you do not pay your taxes, which include the non-ad valorem assessments, a lien will be placed against your property equal in rank and dignity with the liens of all state, county, and municipal taxes and special assessments. Failure to pay the assessments will cause a tax certificate to be issued against the property, which may result in a loss of title.
The tax amounts and non-ad valorem assessment amounts are considered one bill due and payable to the Lee County Tax Collector. The Tax Collector accepts no partial payments once the tax bill has been issued.
If you would like to make installment payments before issuing a tax bill, a quarterly installment program available. Please contact the Lee County Tax Collector’s office for additional information at 239-533-6000.
No. You can elect a different payment option for each assessment. For example, if your property is receiving three utility services (potable water, wastewater and irrigation), you can elect the Initial Prepayment (Option #1) for potable water, the Interim Prepayment (Option #2) for wastewater, and the Amortized Payment (Option #3) for irrigation.
Yes, if you participate in the Amortized Payment Option. Special assessments are not taxes. The special assessment applies to all properties within an assessment area regardless of any tax exemptions. You will be sent a tax bill by the Lee County Tax Collector, but it will only include the non-ad valorem assessments.
Current rates can be viewed on the City’s website at www.CapeCoral.gov.
North 1 West Informational Meeting: March 8, 2023
Final Assessment Resolution/Public Hearing: March 22, 2023
Initial Prepayment Period: March 23, 2023 – September 30, 2023
Interim Prepayment Period: October 1, 2023 – July 31, 2024
First annual installment on tax bill: November 2024
This is a question for your tax advisor. Generally, a non-ad valorem assessment against a residence is not a valid income tax deduction. However, if you own rental property or a business, the non-ad valorem assessment may be deductible when computing your income taxes. Please contact your accountant or income tax preparer for information regarding your specific situa