Cape homeowners look for options as UEP deadline draws near

Author: Brendon Leslie, WINK News

Homeowners facing a huge bill are looking for options.

They need to come up with thousands to pay for the Utilities Extension Project Project in Cape Coral.

With just two weeks to come up with the money, some wonder if it’s time to use their retirement accounts to pay for it.

It’s crunch time for Cape Coral residents Jack and Becky Miller. They need to decide whether or not to pay $20,000 in a lump sum by July 31 for the Utilities Extension Project.

“The fact that we need to lay out 20 grand by the end of July it’s ludicrous who’s got 20 grand laying around?” Brad said.

If they don’t, they’ll be forced to pay and extra $15,000 on their tax bills for the next 20 years.

The couple has called in a financial adviser.

“To see if it makes more sense to pay it off by July 31 or if it makes sense to amortize it and have it put on our property taxes,” Becky said.

Brad Jessen, a financial adviser in Matlacha, said clients are liquidating various retirement accounts to pay this off. He added one client in particular is getting slapped with fees due to poor timing.

“He was two months before his 59-and-a-half birthday, and you had to take out money of his IRA to pay an additional 10 percent penalty,” Jessen said.

As for Becky and Jack, they suggest everyone meet with a professional as there’s still time to find the best solution.

“We’re very confused, and maybe if someone can just help us look at the numbers, and I’m not emotional way, because were too emotionally involved to make a rational decision,” Becky said.

City officials hope to have the first part of this project completed by next year.

MORE: Impending payment deadline looms for UEP in Cape Coral

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