Cape Coral mulls seawall cost assistance program

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. A cost assistance program may become available to residents as seawalls continue to crumble in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The seawall damage repair cost assistance program is still in the early stages of planning, city officials said.

The city hopes to receive assistance to fund the program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to the City Manager’s Office.

Residents in Punta Gorda pay an annual fee of $550 while residents in Burnt Store Isles pay $570 for seawall maintenance, city officials said. This system helps the city pay for damages after events like Hurricane Irma.

Cape Coral resident Kathryn Lack is concerned she will not be able to afford the repair without assistance after she received a $95,000 estimate to fix her seawall.

“$500 a year is a lot better than me having to find out how to come up with $95,000 right now,” Lack said. “I don’t know who has $95,000 just laying around,” Lack said.

Currently, it’s up to the property owner to install, maintain and repair the seawall, according to county officials. Insurance companies won’t cover the repairs either.

But residents with seawall issues can contact FEMA and apply for assistance, an agency representative said. The agency will do an inspection of the damage and determine eligibility.

Seawall concerns are expected to be addressed with county and municipal leaders, Cape Coral Rep. Dane Eagle said.

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