Neighbors in Cape Coral are frustrated at a discussion over raising water rates by 3% this year and 4% in 2024.
Turning your faucet on might not seem like money going down the drain. However, for those living in northeast Cape Coral, switching to city water is starting to feel that way. Many neighbors recently got their Utilities Extension Project assessments.
“When we bought this house about two years ago, they told us that would be about $30,000,” said Lisa Troxel. “And it was over $36,000.”
Water rates are set to rise, adding another expense for Toxel.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” Troxel said. “I don’t know if I’m looking at a $50-a-month water bill or $200 a month.”
She’s not alone. During a Wednesday meeting, the Cape Coral City Council is expected to finalize the water rate hike. The proposal calls for a 3% increase this year, 4% in 2024, and an annual 5% every year after that.
Councilman Tom Hayden says it’s all in reaction to the city’s immense growth.
“To cover debt and future capital projects, we discussed and voted on rate increases last year,” Hayden said. “And now it’s time to implement those rate increases.”
Despite this, Hayden knows neighbors are struggling to make ends meet. He admits the timing of the rate hike is not great, but he believes the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term pain.
“It’s the needs in the city that dictate this right now,” Hayden said. “And it’s really important that we take care of it now.”