NWNA Vice President Dennis Winchester and Public Works Chairman Don Freeman held an introductory meeting with Public Works Director Mr. Paul Clinghan and Utilities Extension Manager Mr. Kevin Higginson.
The meeting provided an opportunity to introduce Don to the Public Works leadership, discuss his background, learn about Public Works initiatives/processes, and discuss some current North 2 UEP resident issues. It was a highly informative and cordial meeting.
Utility Hookups in UEP North 2
UEP North 2 construction is essentially complete and homeowners are in the process of hooking up. Approximately 3200 properties within the UEP North 2 area now have City water, sewer, and reclaimed water available.
Residential hookup instructions are located here:
On September 14, 2020, City Council approved Resolution 216-20 which provided an additional 60 days for developed properties to hook up to the new sewer and water utilities. With this change, homeowners within UEP North 2 now have 240 days from the date of the Notice of Availability (NOA) to connect to the City’s water, sewer and/or irrigation systems.
Residents with issues/concerns should contact the North 2 UEP telephone number 833-227-3837 and document their specific issues/concerns. The issues recorded will form a punch list of items that will need to addressed before final contractor payments are made.
North 2 Driveway Repairs
There have been some complaints from homeowners regarding the quality of work performed on the replacement of driveway aprons which were destroyed during construction. Most complaints are related to concrete-stamped and/or colored concrete aprons not matching the original driveways.
The City is aware of approximately 50 such complaints and they are working to resolve these. Residents should not sign off on acceptance of the driveway if they are not satisfied that the repairs meet the original design and configuration.
The City has withheld funds from the water/sewer contractors, and they are working with these contractors to get the problems resolved. This will take some time as the City is legally required to address these issues with the contractor first.
Therefore, they request patience from homeowners. If you have already called and/or emailed the UEP with your complaint, then rest assured they are aware of it. If you have a complaint and have not yet registered it with the City you should send an email to: email@example.com, or call the above phone number and explain the issue. Attaching photos to an email will help the City understand the problem. Please note, repeated pestering of City staff about individual issues will not get the repairs completed any sooner.
North 2 Bio Swales
Residents have raised concerns about replacement grass dying and not being replaced in a timely manner.
Public Works does monitor the grass replacement and when they determine the grass is dead it will be replaced. We saw examples of grass replacement in several areas.
Again, the City asks for your patience.
UEP North 1 Update
Yes, North 2 was completed prior to North 1. The City has signed a contract with the Engineering Firm Tetra Tech to complete the design of water/sewer/reclaimed water for the North 1 area.
The proposed work area for North 1 is located here: https://www.capecoral.net/uep/north_1.php
Please note that North 1 is located east of Santa Barbara Boulevard so this area may not be of much concern to NWNA members. Lessons learned from North 2 will be incorporated in North 1 as appropriate. Actual construction will not start until the summer of 2022.
UEP Master Planning
The UEP Master Plan is the responsibility of the Utilities Department and they are working with the engineering firms of AECOM and CDM Smith in the development of the Master Plan. The Master Plan will look at the remaining areas of the City without water and sewer and prioritize need.
Many issues will be considered such as population density, anticipated residential development, commercial development, environmental need, and land acquisition for lift stations when prioritizing need. Additionally, existing utility infrastructure needs to be assessed and, in some cases, upgraded as part of the expansion program. For example, existing pipelines in the southwest and southeast need to have the capacity to transport wastewater from the expanding sewers in the northwest to the existing treatment plants.
The Master Plan is expected to be completed by late 2021. Once complete we will have a better understanding of the anticipated schedule for future utility expansion in the northwest.
Short Term Planning
Pine Island Road west of Chiquita Boulevard is another area of great commercial growth currently without City water and sewer. Utilities in this area will likely be constructed by a developer interested in expanding into the area.
Walmart was planning on building the utilities in this area, but they have since backed out of their project. As a minimum, this area will be an extremely high priority identified in the Master Plan if utilities are not built sooner.
Similar to the Burnt Store Road expansion from Tropicana to Pine Island Road. Florida DOT will be starting the construction of its road-widening project in early 2021.
The City recognizes the need to install utilities here as they currently stop at Embers Parkway. This area too will likely be identified as a priority in the Master plan, and hence the City is installing sleeves underneath the roadways as part of the DOT project to accommodate future utility expansion.