Q: If the City of Cape Coral decides to purchase LCEC’s assets and operate their own electric utility how will this effect power to Matlacha, Pine Island and the outer islands? If this happens, will LCEC continue to provide power or will Cape Coral control the distribution lines and electric rates?
A: Glad you asked David! If the City of Cape Coral decided to operate their own electric utility, LCEC would continue to serve all remaining customers with the same focus on reliability, competitive rates, and quality service. The City of Cape Coral would not control the distribution lines and electric rates to serve any members outside of Cape Coral.
Part of the purchase of a utility includes paying the expenses to make the utility whole for remaining customers. That means the purchase price would include all of the assets in Cape Coral as well as any expenses to ensure power to Matlacha, Pine Island and the outer islands is not interrupted.
Outer Islands Facilities Would Need to be Duplicated
At this point, the City of Cape Coral has not expressed a definitive desire to purchase the system so all of the details have not been worked out. But rest easy that if there are facilities that serve both customers in Cape Coral and other parts of the LCEC service territory, such as the islands and North Fort Myers, those facilities would be duplicated at the expense of the purchaser. This is just one of the many reasons we feel a purchase would not be in the best interest of Cape Coral taxpayers.
It is likely that the recent annexation of the six city-owned parcels on Pine Island Road would bring those areas under the control of the City of Cape Coral if they formed their own utility.