Cape council set to discuss extending bar hours again

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Restoring the 4 a.m. closing time for bars in Cape Coral was once again a topic of discussion at a City Council meeting Friday.

Council member Richard Leon proposed the idea during the meeting. City leaders voted 5-3 in March to nix a trial program that allowed bars to stay open until 4. The current closing time is 2 a.m.

Another council member, Jessica Cosden, filed a request to reconsider the decision against extended bar hours shortly after the March vote, proposing that bar owners pay for an increased police presence. That measure failed in a split vote.

Joe Mazurkiewicz, former Cape Coral mayor, says extended hours is exactly what the city needs in order to thrive economically.

“I think we can fashion an ordinance to move forward, to take advantage of the economic stimulus that occurred during the pilot program and then grow that to where we can actually have a sustainable entertainment district in downtown Cape Coral,” Mazurkiewicz said.

Opponents have balked at the cost of extra law enforcement prompted by an increase of crime during test period for the extended hours.

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