Hallandale Beach Community Partners Working Towards A Better Future
By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper
May 24, 2023
This past Saturday PAL held their Grand Opening at Foster Park, it was a wonderful afternoon. There were so many community partners that brought resources to the event to assist our citizens and community. Hispanic Unity, Early Childhood Coalition, Children’s Services Council, Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach K-8, Hallandale Beach Police Department and of course Memorial Hospital all shared valuable information.
It was announced on Saturday that Memorial’s One City Health Initiative will be adding services not only for a year but for two. The first year, the mobile vans with both children and adult services will be at Foster Park on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The following year, they will be there on Mondays. They provide FREE Health Care Services including: Testing, Health Screenings and Exams to all Hallandale residents.
Last Thursday there was a community meeting held by concerned citizens in the northwest area of our City. City Manager Jeremy Earle, Deacon Donnell Brown, a community volunteer and MLK Humanitarian Recipient and Reverend Wayne Allen of Ebenezer Baptist Church were panelists with Matt Lorenzo moderating. The panelists were given questions to address issues in the City, programs to help citizens, the Infrastructure, CRA and policing.
The first highlight was about the city’s financial condition which Dr. Earle reported has stabilized since we have adopted our five-year stabilization plan. The last budget reserves were not used while adding services back. Our commission has held steadfast in adding many programs to address efficiencies while not digging into our rainy day fund. We have done this while filling vacant police positions, establishing Repair and Replacement Programs for our Fleet Services and Parks System, increasing Code Enforcement, fully staffing our Building Department, and tackling our Infrastructure needs.
Dr. Earle actually brought with him a sample of a corroded pipe to explain our aging Infrastructure Projects for the Northwest Quadrant. Many of the pipes in our City are well over 40 years old. While we have been doing repairs we have not aggressively tackled replacing pipes. This year marks the beginning of a ten-year buildout for the priority replacement of many of our pipes. This will allow us to reach a goal of a replacement cycle for years to come rather than kicking the can down the road.
A question was also asked how these items will be paid for. Dr. Earle explained that we issue Revenue Bonds to pay for these programs. The Revenue is generated through Utility Fees. In addition, Water Plant Capacity Developers pay Impact Fees. We also aggressively apply for Grants through the State and Federal agencies. Last meeting, we approved the first tranche of bonds. $20 Million for the first years’ worth of Projects.
There was a robust conversation about our CRA Programs to help residents residing in the CRA area. This area is located between 14th Avenue and all the way west to I-95. We have Grants and Loans to help with home repairs. Deacon Brown explained he applied for a Loan to help with his home repairs.
Some Low Interest Loans do require repayment, but some portions are forgivable. Grants are simple monetary awards to perform specific projects that do not have to be paid back. There are multiple programs available. Residents can find out more about them by visiting our website at: www.cohbCRA.org - If residents need in person service they can come to City Hall to the CRA Offices Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until closing at 6:00 p.m.
Residents questioned why we ask for so much paperwork when applying for these Loans. Ironically Reverend Allen works as a Loan Officer for a car dealership, so he explained that he understands the need for paperwork to see if an individual has ability to pay. Dr. Earle explained in the CRA that it is a bit different. We need to make sure Loans do not create an additional burden. In addition, this helps to protect residents while helping them fix their homes. We are also a government agency, so paperwork ensures transparency of the use of taxpayer dollars. It was made clear that the CRA is not in the business of taking homes for Unpaid Loans.
Reverend and Deacon asked about Loans to Churches and NonProfits. Our CRA does not provide Loans to Church Organizations because Churches do not pay taxes. We do however with help in other ways to help NonProfits if they are bringing Resources or Programs to the community. We are willing to work with entities particularly with Training and Work Programs.
Have A Blessed And Safe Memorial Day Weekend!
As always, I am available for your questions, concerns, and ideas to help make our City a better place. Please feel free to reach out to me at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my Cell/Text at: (954) 632-5700. Or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.