To the editor:
The Cape Coral City Council requested and got from the FDEP a consent order to remove and replace the Ceitus boatlift/barrier farther north. This consent order clearly shows that there was no adverse environmental problem in moving the boatlift or barrier by either the FDEP or the City of Cape Coral. If there had been any concerns the FDEP and the Cape would not have agreed to move it.
Well, politics came into play and the Cape requests that the FDEP amend the consent order to allow the Cape to see if there are any net benefits greater than the replacement of the boatlift/barrier.
The FDEP named the participants in a stakeholder process that was to investigate any net benefits that met the criteria. After many months, the stakeholders found no net benefits greater then replacing the boatlift/barrier and voted to replace the boatlift/ barrier.
The Cape was supposed to fill out a permit and answer any questions from the FDEP. The Cape, seeking ways to hammer its way out of replacing the boatlift/barrier, chose to sabotage it as a means of getting out of what they couldn't get out of the stakeholders.
Here is how they did it. They sent a cover letter to the FDEP recommending that the FDEP should reject the permit. Also, one of the main questions that the FDEP has to ask of all permit applications is if it is in the public interests. Stating that it is not is an automatic denial of the permit.
Of course the Council didn't want the boatlift so they stated "The construction of the NSTD (boatlift/barrier) will adversely affect the safety of the public. Canoes and other small craft that navigate the small creeks will experience increased water velocities during tidal exchanges which can be hazardous to novice boaters, particularly during the higher velocity falling tides. Boaters' use of the Boat Lift has inherent risk."
The FDEP had no choice but to deny the permit based on the fact that the Cape stated that it would adversely affect the safety of the public.
Now the Cape is being sued for their shenanigans over using the permit process to bypass two consent orders to move and replace the boatlift.
Lee County Commissioners, it is time to put the hammer down on the Cape Council. Everyone is getting tired of all the things that the Cape is saying that doesn't make any sense to anyone and delaying the inevitable of abiding by the two consent orders issued to them to put the boatlift /barrier back.