Hallandale Beach Infrastructure And Paid Parental Leave

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

November 11, 2021

Before the Pandemic, we as a Commission, had begun discussing a government obligation bond. Just like the parks, this bond would go to referendums and be placed on the tax rolls.

Over the past week many residents lost water due to yet another water main break. Our crews were out there right away fixing the main, but there was a day that many homes on Holiday Drive and the beach did not have water nor enough pressure on the beach to reach their condos. This water main runs across the Intracoastal Waterway and was installed over 50 years ago. Our City is very fortunate to have a great crew of employees within our Department Of Public Works.

I know that I have written about underground infrastructure for many years. Like many cities across the country, the state and the nation, our infrastructure has aged and many of our pipes have reached their useful life. For the past ten years, if not more, we have been improving and adding to our underground systems. Currently we are retrofitting and replacing many of our sewer lift stations. These projects are in the Millions of Dollars.

The funding of projects is critical and as a City there was an increase in our water and sewer fees to create additional funding. With this increase, we were able to borrow through a revenue bond to address this critical infrastructure. Currently we understand that the needs of the water, the sewer and the drainage projects are far greater than the amount borrowed.

Before the Pandemic, we as a Commission, had begun discussing a government obligation bond. Just like the parks, this bond would go to referendums and be placed on the tax rolls. This process is to evaluate projects that will be extensive and comprehensive with a focus on needs, not wants. At that time, the price tags were well over $150 Million Dollars. I encourage our residents to follow this process and I am concerned that we will cut projects in fear of the bond, not passing.

Please know that we want to make sure that all of our residents are informed when we have main breaks. In this case, we have many avenues, Robo Calls, Text Messages, E-mails and obviously, larger incidents are covered on Local TV Stations to cover the breaks. I also encourage all of our residents to please sign up On-line on our City’s Web-site, which is really easy by going to: www.cohb.org.
In other City Business, our City Commission has approved Paid Parental Leave. Commissioner Javellana brought this item up before the Pandemic and was put on hold. It allows employees to be granted 12 paid weeks of Maternity Leave and keep their benefits in place. We were one of the first Cities in Broward County to adopt this policy, which is a step in the right direction.

As a parent, I cannot imagine being able to stay at home with my children. Many times, employees have had to save all of their time to be able to stay home and bond with their children. In the event of illness, this time is often all used up and in general, this policy obviously helps the parents, but more importantly, it helps our future generations and allows parents to bond with them.

Many countries around the world provide Parental Leave, as are most companies, they realize that it also provides stability in the Workforce, by helping to retain Labor Forces and recruit new employees, as well.

As always, I am available anytime for your questions, concerns and ideas to make our City a better place, on my phone/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or you can e-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org. Please visit my Facebook Page: MayorJoyCooper. Like It! Friend It! Share It!