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Sunday, 22 November 2015 17:12

Fort Myers Beach

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There still stems some debate between council members on this project, namely the amount of debt this will bring to the residents of Fort Myers Beach, especially for Councilman Alan Mandel.

Mandel feels having the already approved Storm water Phase II cost on the referendum, and allowing citizens to decide, is what’s practical. “It’s not a good idea to do the bond because the state revolving fund is going provide a lower interest rate. My concern is that the people of this community, who know that debt will be closer to $80 or $100 million that the town is getting into. They’ve approved potable water, they’ve approved town hall, I think they should approve Stormwater because it is a long term project and debt that they’re responsible for. It doesn’t matter to me that it’s not going to be a tax, a bond would be a tax. It’s going to be a fee. But what’s the difference? It’s out of your pocket. A bond would be a higher interest rate. It doesn’t reduce the amount of debt that much; yes the interest would be more, but you’re still talking about a significant dollar amount. What I don’t want is future councils committing the town to even more debt, that’s irresponsible. It’s about fiscal responsibility. I think people want good drinking water, safe drinking water, unflooded streets. I don’t want to put it out there because something is open ended, and I’m hearing people don’t want to give the council open ended opportunities to give them debt. We can’t allow the debt of the residents to be endless.”

Although the project has already been approved, the question now comes to how will the fees will be collected by the citizens. “There’s no discussion on whether or not this has to be done, and we have a system in place to finance this at 0-1%. These are projects instrumental to our community, and I’m fearful it goes to referendum and people vote no because of 4 months of fees on their water bill, and that’s still not going to change how much they pay. I can’t support it, if people want to release the town from long term obligations they will, I don’t think we need this in there,” said Mayor Anita Cereceda.

Read 1199 times Last modified on Sunday, 22 November 2015 17:34

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