February 11, 2015

By JIM LINETTE , Cape Coral Daily Breeze.

City Council voted unanimously Monday night to advance the South Florida Kayak & Canoe Club’s proposed athletic training complex project on city-owned property located on Lake Kennedy.

All eight council members like the project and believe the complex will be a good endeavor for the city. The $22.5 million complex is expected to inject more than $8.6 million new dollars into the local economy and more than $341,000 in Lee County tax revenue each year.

While club representative Joe Mazurkiewicz was prepared to present the project to council as a Public-Private Partnership (P3) proposal, city staff came up with four options for council to proceed. Rather than the P3, council chose the option to simply lease the land to the club, which then would be responsible to design, build, maintain and operate the complex. The project is fully privately funded, said Mazurkiewicz. The city will not be required to procure any goods, financing or services for the project.

“The reason we are here tonight is we need a public vote that you want this project,” said Mazurkiewicz, president of BMJ Consulting and executive director of the Cape Coral Council For Progress.

The project includes a world class competitive training facility and athletic dormitory offering sprint, paddle sports and performance training with video analysis.

The club already operates under a lease agreement with the city, but the complex requires a much larger footprint on the city property making it necessary for the city to draw up a new lease agreement to assure the city’s interests are protected.

With Monday’s vote, staff will meet with a real estate consultant to begin writing that lease. Staff assured that the public would have plenty of opportunity to come forward through public hearings throughout the process before any final vote is taken.


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