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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Cape Coral, FL

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Cape Coral, FL You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Cape Coral, FL

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Cape Coral, FL

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Cape Coral, FL

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Cape Coral, FL

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Cape Coral, FL

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Cape Coral, FL

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Cape Coral, FL

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Cape Coral, FL phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Cape Coral, FL phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Cape Coral, FL phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Cape Coral, FL that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Cape Coral, FL

Latest News in Cape Coral, FL

Bimini Basin Mooring Field design contract on Council agenda

Cape Coral City Council will consider an agreement for permitting and design for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field Wednesday.The consent agenda item with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. is for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field permitting and design project, at a price not to exceed $497,331. If approved on Wednesday, the design is to be completed in 12 months.In May 2023, the city requested a proposal for architectural, planning, engineering, design and permitting services for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field. The proposal was receiv...

Cape Coral City Council will consider an agreement for permitting and design for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field Wednesday.

The consent agenda item with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. is for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field permitting and design project, at a price not to exceed $497,331. If approved on Wednesday, the design is to be completed in 12 months.

In May 2023, the city requested a proposal for architectural, planning, engineering, design and permitting services for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field. The proposal was received from Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. of Denver in June 2023.

In August 2023, the city entered into a contract with Stantec Consulting Services in the amount of $15,866 for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field – 2023 Submerged Resources Survey.

There are several public hearings slated for Wednesday.

• A public hearing regarding Sunset Lakes, also known as Coral Lakes Subdivision, includes a request to remove one tract at 3100 Del Prado Blvd, .49 acres, from the Coral Lakes Planned Development Project. According to the backup material “the PDP designation for this tract is commercial, however, the site has future land use amendments and a rezoning, along with a PUD under review to develop the tract as residential.” If the tract is removed, it will eliminate the requirement of a traffic light at the entrance.

• A Residential Planned Unit Development – Coral Lakes Multi-Family is another public hearing. Coral Lakes SWFL, LLC is requesting to rezone 10 acres from commercial to residential planned unit development zoning district. The applicant is also seeking approval of the 34.15-acre Master Concept Plan. If approved, there would be a maximum of 350 dwelling units, model homes, home based businesses and temporary sales office.

• An amendment to the fiscal year 2024 operating budget is also slated for a public hearing during Wednesday’s meeting. The amendment increases the revenues and expenditures by $53,106,553. The increase would amend the budget from $1,095,678,548 to $1,148,785,101, a 4.85% increase.

• Trailer regulations in the South Cape zoning district city parking lots hearing addresses commercial lettering and commercial vehicles. The ordinance states that it “shall be unlawful to stop, stand, or park a trailer in any city parking lot located in the South Cape Zoning District between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.” The ordinance reads the same for commercial vehicles.

It further reads that outside of the hours of 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. for trailers and 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. for commercial vehicles it is unlawful to “stop, stand or park a trailer in a city parking lot that is attached to a motor vehicle,” park a commercial vehicle for a time period exceeding two hours, and parking a trailer or commercial vehicle in a city parking lot outside of spaces designated for parking.

Citations and tickets may be issued with a civil penalty of $30.

The City Council meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, in City Council chambers, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

Holiday lights galore: Families spread Christmas cheer in Fort Myers, Cape Coral

It's the holidays, and people are lining up every night to see Christmas magic glowing in the Helenbrook family's front yard.Sometimes they even show up by the bus-load.They laugh and smile and point at the Helenbrooks' jaw-dropping holiday display: A 40-foot-tall Christmas tree made of streaming Christmas lights, glowing candy canes hanging from the trees and about 60,000 colorful lights shining everywhere you look.Sandy Helenbrook loves bringing that Christmas spirit to her Fort Myers neighborhood. That'...

It's the holidays, and people are lining up every night to see Christmas magic glowing in the Helenbrook family's front yard.

Sometimes they even show up by the bus-load.

They laugh and smile and point at the Helenbrooks' jaw-dropping holiday display: A 40-foot-tall Christmas tree made of streaming Christmas lights, glowing candy canes hanging from the trees and about 60,000 colorful lights shining everywhere you look.

Sandy Helenbrook loves bringing that Christmas spirit to her Fort Myers neighborhood. That's why she and husband Bill have been doing this for 25 years.

"Everybody looks forward to it," Helenbrook says. "We just do it because we truly love Christmas. We just love that people can come and enjoy it."

The Helenbrook house is just one of many decorated homes and businesses featured in The News-Press's interactive holiday lights map.

To see the map online, go to news-press.com/holidaymap2023

The map shows holiday displays in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs and the rest of Southwest Florida. You can use it for a self-guided tour of the region's best and brightest displays.

For those reading this story in print, you can see a list of the addresses of dozens of displays inside the Tuesday, Dec. 12 edition of The News-Press.

'Mega trees,' angel wings and more in Cape Coral

Across the Caloosahatchee River in Cape Coral, Mike and Debbie Sherman bring their own version of the Christmas spirit to Southwest Florida.

Mike Sherman even goes to a special school to make his annual holiday display as awesome as possible.

Sherman remembers falling in love with a home display of animated lights that he saw about 10 years ago. The lights were synchronized to music, and it was a beautiful thing.

"I'm like, man, I want to learn how to do that," Sherman says.

Now Sherman's doing just that: His Cape Coral front yard at 606 N.W. Ninth St. is packed with about 100,000 animated lights (he's not sure exactly how many), a big plastic Santa and more – all blinking in time to music.

Thanks to Sherman's FM radio transmitter, visitors can tune their car radios to 101.7 FM and hear a soundtrack of Christmas and non-Christmas music, including rock, country and kids songs. The transmitter has a range of about two blocks.

Sherman learned how to do all this and more at an Orlando lighting school/conference called the Florida MegaMini. He goes every year.

It's a lot of work, he admits. But then he sees the kids, and that makes everything worth it.

"They’re dancing to the music or clapping or 'Look Mommy, there's Santa,'" Sherman says. "That's kind of why I do it. It's just for the kids."

Sherman tries to add a little more to the display every year. This year includes eight 20-foot-tall "mega trees" made of 3,000-3,500 Christmas lights each, a plywood gingerbread house he built himself and an interactive "angel wing station" where people can pose for photos with colorful lighted angel wings (and even change the colors with a push of a button).

Sherman remembers driving around with his family when he was a kid and marveling at people's Christmas light displays. Now he's providing the same joy to the people of Southwest Florida.

"That tradition still goes on," he says.

No dancing lights or lots of blow-ups. Just tradition

Back in Fort Myers, the Helenbrook family has a similar tradition.

Sandy Helenbrook's not sure how many lights they have in their front yard at 1536 Pinecrest Road. 50,000? Maybe 60,000?

All she knows for sure is this: She loves the feeling she gets when people come to see their display.

They get roughly 1,000 to 1,500 people every year, she says. Buses from area retirement homes often show up packed with spectators.

"People stop and walk through our yard all the time," Helenbrook says.

Their display includes a blow-up Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh and a 40-foot-tall, lighted Christmas tree made of streaming green lights and a bright white star on top. The street and walkway are outlined in multi-colored lights, and their roof is striped with them, too.

All to the tune of traditional and country-music holiday tunes playing on speakers.

"It's very traditional," Helenbrook says. "You won’t find lights dancing to music or a ton of blow-ups. … You're not gonna find anything blinking or driving your eyes crazy."

And the power bill isn't as bad as you'd think. They use all LED lights, she says, so the bill is usually only $50-$75 more than usual.

They've been doing this for about a quarter century, she says. And they add more every year.

"We started this years ago for our kids," Helenbrook says. "Now we have a couple of grandchildren, and all my kids' friends still come back every year to be there with us when we have a light-up party."

How to be a part of the holiday lights map

Do you have an awesome holiday display of your own? Then you can be in the map, too.

Go online and fill out a short form that includes your address, the number of lights in your display and a short description. It's free.

To add your holiday light display, go to news-press.com/holidaylights. The displays can be for businesses, homes or venues.

The News-Press holiday lights map will be updated online throughout the holiday season.

Interactive map

Use your phone's camera to scan this QR code to go to our interactive map of holiday lights displays or go to news-press.com/holidaymap2023.

— Charles Runnells is an arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. To reach him, call 239-335-0368 (for tickets to shows, call the venue) or email him atcrunnells@gannett.com. Follow or message him on social media: Facebook (facebook.com/charles.runnells.7), X (formerly Twitter) (@charlesrunnells), Threads (@crunnells1) and Instagram (@crunnells1).

Hearing on Chiquita Lock concludes

Recommended order on city’s bid to remove water control structure expected early next yearA hearing to determine whether the state should issue a permit allowing the city of Cape Coral to remove the Chiquita Lock concluded Wednesday afternoon.The next steps will be post-hearing briefs of the parties filed in late January or early February, followed by a written decision by Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, which will be a recommended final order.The parties may then file written exceptions to all, or part...

Recommended order on city’s bid to remove water control structure expected early next year

A hearing to determine whether the state should issue a permit allowing the city of Cape Coral to remove the Chiquita Lock concluded Wednesday afternoon.

The next steps will be post-hearing briefs of the parties filed in late January or early February, followed by a written decision by Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, which will be a recommended final order.

The parties may then file written exceptions to all, or parts of the recommended order. The final order, with exceptions, will then go to the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for review and final say.

The hearing will determine whether the FDEP can move forward with its announced intent to issue the permit to allow the removal of the lock based on a plan the city says will improve the quality of water that flows into the South Spreader canal.

“The Final Administrative Hearing pertaining to the Petitioner’s challenge of the City’s Environmental Resource Permit (“ERP“) for the removal of the Chiquita Boat Lock was concluded on December 20, 2023, and the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ“) will be issuing her recommended Order to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (“FDEP“),” the city said in a statement provided to The Breeze Thursday. “In consideration of the factual and expert testimonial evidence that was presented at the Final Administrative Hearing by the City and FDEP, the City is optimistic that this evidence has established a clear legal right and entitlement to the ERP and that the ALJ’s Recommended Order will support its issuance to the City.”

The challenge was filed by the Matlacha Civic Association and other parties who oppose the water retention device’s removal. The petitioners contend the application “fails to meet any of the standards required under Florida Law.”

“Your readers are getting a glimpse of what I would call the ‘Pollution Industry,'” said Michael Hannon, president of the Matlacha Civic Association and the attorney representing the challenging parties. “Florida’s rules and procedures are now Byzantine and arcane, formulated by lawyers and bureaucrats who are in-bred in the Pollution Industry. When ordinary citizens challenge any environmental permit, they are met by high-priced lawyers and experts and a hearing process which has its own rules.”

Calusa Waterkeeper Emeritus John Cassani, in testimony at the trial on the removal of the Chiquita Boat Lock, exposed major failings in the FDEP which allow the city of Cape Coral to “continue polluting the waters of Matlacha Pass and the Caloosahatchee River without adverse consequences,” he added.

At the trial, Cassani discussed the department’s major tool intended to clean up the waters of the state, the Basin Management Action Plan, referred to as BMAP.

Hannon said the BMAP for Cape Coral sets a target for removal of nitrogen from the surrounding waters at 38,965 lbs. of nitrogen per year. FDEP and the city claim to have overachieved this target, relying on “credits” assigned by the department to off-set the municipality’s yearly goal.

Cassani said the problem is that the goal was established in 2012, and that the FDEP has never updated the goal consistent with data collected on a timely basis in the waters around Cape Coral.

Hannon said that in so doing, the BMAP program only falls further behind while creating the illusion that restoration of water quality is on track.

“This process is truly unfortunate,” Hannon said. “Florida, the city of Cape Coral, and businesses in our state have plenty of money to develop prudently and protect the environment at the same time. Advancements in environmental protection are available to keep our waters clean. Under the processes created by the ‘Pollution Industry,’ there is no incentive to do so.”

According to public records, the city has paid attorneys handling the Chiquita Lock case $1,038,804 from Sept. 2020 to Sept. 2023. Additional fees in the six-figure amounts will be incurred from experts, and additional attorney costs from October to December.

“I estimate that Cape Coral will have paid its attorneys nearly $1.5 million before the case is over,” Hannon said. “The fees to experts will likely approach $500,000.”

As for what should be done, Hannon said the city needs to replace the lock.

“Spending $60 million to replace the Lock with a dual, high-speed Lock is well worth the money, and well within the reach of the City of Cape Coral, the self-professed fastest growing city in the nation. Its own environmental director testified that the City is now only 50% built out. What will the future look like, since the City admittedly uses its canals to flush its stormwater into Outstanding Florida Waters and the Caloosahatchee.”

The lock is a barrier across the South Spreader. Ordered by the state in 1977 as part of a Clean Water Act enforcement action, it was designed to separate the canal waters of the southern end of the city from natural waterways including the Caloosahatchee.

Located approximately 2.75 miles from the Sanibel Causeway Bridge, the lock provided boaters with a way through the barrier and so provided gulf access from Camelot Canal and Southwest Spreader Waterway into the Intracoastal Waterway via the river.

Citing damage and safety issues, the city has kept the lock open since Hurricane Ian.

The bid to removal the device, though, dates back years before the Sept. 28, 2022 storm.

The city lost a previous challenge to its bid to remove the structure in 2019 and then resubmitted its permit request with the addition of a number of mitigation projects.

The city’s proposed program put together by Brown and Caldwell includes two stormwater improvement projects; environmental monitoring for small tooth sawfish; enhancement to mangrove, upland, and subtidal habitats along the waterway, and removal of the Chiquita Boat Lock and the associated northern upland pad from the terminus of the waterway. The city states these actions “will result in environmental improvements and increase the sustainability of the Waterway system and the adjacent natural areas.”

The city contends the antiquated lock has long outlived its purpose and is no longer needed as a water quality mitigation device.

COMMENTS

Cape News

Cape motorcyclist dies in crash

Southbound lane of Del Prado to have nighttime lane closure starting Monday, Feb. 5, for repairs

Bimini Basin Mooring Field design contract on Council agenda

Cape Coral City Council will consider an agreement for permitting and design for the Bimini Basin Mooring Field ...

Cape Coral's Mr. and Mrs. Claus spread cheer and charity

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. — In the heart of Cape Coral, a couple has transformed their home into a festive wonderland for seven consecutive years. Bill and Sue Snyder, known locally as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, have not only been delighting the community with their elaborate Christmas decorations, but are also contributing to a local charity.

Santa Claus himself, William Snyder, shared, "If we put a smile on at least one child's face or one adult's face, then we've done our job."

The Snyders' home, with four Christmas trees and thousands of holiday trinkets collected over 40 years, has become a local attraction drawing visitors like Doris Kirch from Germany.

"Originally, we're from Germany. There's much Christmas decorations, but not like that. It's different. In Europe, it's different," she said.

Beyond the joy to the eyes, the Snyders are using their holiday display as an opportunity to give back to the community. A bin outside their home is designated for non-perishable food items and donations, all of which will directly benefit the Cape Coral Caring Center.

"We researched and discovered that the Cape Coral Caring Center helps mainly people right here in Cape Coral," Bill said.

The Cape Coral Caring Center's importance has increased in the last few years, given the USDA's alarming statistics stating that 12.8% of U.S. families struggled to put food on the table in 2022—a significant increase from 10.2% in the previous year.

The Snyders, in their commitment to making a difference, aim to alleviate some of this struggle, one hearty "Ho Ho Ho" at a time.

A Florida Beach Paradise Needs Millions to Keep Toilets Flushing

Before it’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg Terminal LEARN MOREThe accelerating growth of Cape Coral, Florida, is spurring the town to tap the municipal bond market for basic needs like running water and working toilets.The Gulf Coast city plans to sell $138 million in debt next week, with proceeds use...

Before it’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg Terminal LEARN MORE

The accelerating growth of Cape Coral, Florida, is spurring the town to tap the municipal bond market for basic needs like running water and working toilets.

The Gulf Coast city plans to sell $138 million in debt next week, with proceeds used for water systems to reduce reliance on wells and site-specific septic tanks. Cape Coral joins other Florida cities building and expanding water and sewer facilities to meet demand from a US migration that’s given the state the fastest-growing population in recent years.

“We didn’t expect this to happen this quickly,” Ryan Rossi, director of the South Florida Water Coalition, said regarding the population growth in the region. “We really need in Florida to update a lot of our infrastructure.”

Cape Coral, whose number of residents ballooned almost 40% to more than 200,000 in the last decade, intends to install water mains and improve its sewage system in the developing north part of town. The infrastructure is needed to move from a dependence on wells and septic tanks that will threaten to pollute the aquifer as more residents arrive, according to city officials and bond filings.

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated Florida’s population growth as especially those in colder northern states, moved south for both the warm weather and lower tax rates. State and local officials increasingly saw the need to shift from limited wastewater solutions such as septic tanks.

Miami-Dade County, for example, has spent $1 billion on water and sewer lines, with another $1 billion proposed for an incinerator and power plant. The city of Miami, where Citadel founder Ken Griffin moved the firm’s headquarters from Chicago last year, faces the risk of running out of landfill space and overwhelming its sewer systems because of population increases.

For Cape Coral, expanding its water and sewer facilities is likely to be an ongoing project. More than half the city’s land is undeveloped and officials expect its population to grow at a 3% clip over the next five to 10 years.

It’s among the top 10 cities homebuyers are looking to move into, according to a July report based on searches by 2 million users of the online real estate firm Redfin. The city estimates the population will reach more than 400,000 by 2080.

The bond sale is expected to help address the rising density and allow for more growth, Mark Mason, the city’s director of financial services, said in an email. The primary revenue source backing the bonds is an assessment on property owners in the area of town being developed.

Mason said that about half the assessment area is being built out, triggering the need for more water and sewer lines. Once those systems are completed, additional building can occur in an almost 1,500-acre tract known as North 1 West Area.

Fitch Ratings assigned the bonds an A rating, five notches into investment grade, partly given a “rapidly growing service area.”

Cape Coral’s growth follows the state’s development trend, even with the risks climate change may present, said Dora Lee, director of research for Belle Haven Investments, which holds $16.2 billion of municipal assets.

“The fact that it still continues to grow despite worsening hurricanes shows how resilient the demand is for housing in Florida,” Lee said.

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