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Governor DeSantis Signs State Budget; Includes $3 Million for City's Reclaimed Water River Crossing Project

Governor Ron DeSantis has signed the state budget and included appropriations for a Cape Coral project.  The budget will provide state funding for the City’s Caloosahatchee River Crossing Project ($3 million).  

“We want to thank Governor DeSantis for supporting this important project, which will provide benefits to Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and the environment,” said City Manager John Szerlag.  “We want to thank our local legislators, Rep. Dane Eagle and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, who worked on our behalf to ensure this project was included in the final appropriations bill approved by the Legislature.”  

Funding will be used to construct a reclaimed water pipeline from Fort Myers to Cape Coral. This project is a win-win for both cities. Cape Coral will receive reclaimed water for irrigation use during the dry season, and Fort Myers will reduce discharges to the Caloosahatchee River. Construction of the pipeline is expected to cost about $15 million and will be completed in 2023. 

“We have been working on securing alternative sources to meet our city’s irrigation demand,” said Szerlag.  “Our partnership with Fort Myers will provide additional water and help reduce the impact on our freshwater canals during the dry season.” 

The City has solicited proposals from engineering firms for the design, regulatory permitting and construction of the pipeline and is presently in contract negotiations.  The design and permitting is estimated to take approximately 12-18 months to complete. A grant from the State was awarded for $800,000 to assist with the cost of designing and permitting of the reclaimed water transmission main.