Hallandale Beach Infrastructure Update

By Joy Cooper - Hallandale Beach Mayor

July 28, 2022

Over this past weekend there was another Water Main Break on Three Islands. On behalf of the entire City Commission, I want to first apologize for the inconvenience this creates to everyone’s daily life. Our City’s Public Works Department has been amazing with finding the source of the Break and timely fixing it. In this case, our work over the past year was replacing older paid off valves so that we could contain the broken area more efficiently. This 16-inch Main is over 50 years old and is part of our current scheduled replacement. The RFP is underway for this large-scale infrastructure project.

Regretfully, when Water Pipes break residents in the area are placed under a precautionary boiled water notice. This means water used to drink, cook, make ice, clean dishes and brush your teeth must be brought to a rolling boil for at least a minute before use. The alert stays in place until the water passes the safety test. This typically is two to three days.

During these events, our City Information Officer works utilizing many tools to alert impacted residents. We use robocalls, text alerts, email and social media to make sure that the residents are updated with emergencies. I always encourage residents and business owners to sign up on our website to make sure that you are included in our robust messaging system.

Visit: https://www.cohb.org/ and click on the Communications and Media Tab. Scroll down and you will come to NotifyMe and then Emergency. You can sign up for both. NotifyMe is for all meetings and non-emergency events. If you simply want to get emergency alerts, follow the prompts. You can also sign up for Broward Alerts on our site. I strongly recommend everyone to sign up since we are in the middle of Hurricane Season.

As Mayor, I try to make sure to write about issues impacting our residents. While many of our residents that have lived here for a while know what is transpiring, we also have many new residents that often have questions about how we implement certain policies and fees. One such question was about utility bills. The new owner was surprised as to why she was receiving a bill even though she was out of town for a month. I want to share the information with all our readers.

Our Utility Bills contain: Water, sewer, storm water and trash removal. Even if you are not in your home there are fees charged as base fees. The base fees for example for water run approximately $21 base with 4.23 per 0-5000 usage rate. If you use more gallons, the rate per 5,000 goes up. Both water and sewer are around the same. Also on the bill is storm water which is a flat rate of 7.37.

As a note, we will be looking at our City’s Rates. We do this every few years. Storm water will be of particular interest since we now have large-scale flooding infrastructure that will need to be maintained and expanded. Trash is also charged monthly with a base of 27.87 with a $2-Dollar Recycling Fee. Residents can add containers at an Additional Fee. We are currently looking into these rates.

For those following the outsourcing of our trash service I am happy to report it is off the table. I have been very vocal about not contracting out due to the fact that we lose control and there will always be built-in automatic rate increases. With this said we need to evaluate the entire program and adjust operations and fees to make sure that they are sustainable.

So, you can see that the typical bill for ALL Utilities can run around $75 Dollars before the gallon rates kick in for water and sewer. The next question is, “Why would I be charged a fee when I am not at home?”

This type of billing is done in many cities and companies. It provides a base rate to make sure that every property helps to cover the cost of infrastructure. Pipes, pumping systems, treatment plants, etc. The Usage Fee is just that, charges individual properties for the amount of what they use.

This creates fairness especially with the large number of seasonal residents in Hallandale Beach. It also helps us have a stable funding source to budget for infrastructure repairs and replacements. It is like cable. Even if you are not at home, they charge a flat rate. FPL charges a $25 flat rate too.

I do want to let you know that over the past few months there was a problem with our electronic meter readers. Our Staff has been collaborating with the Vendor and trying to correct the reading problems. In addition, our Billing Staff has finally addressed multiple billing issues and adjustments. No late fees or anything to be charged during this time. We have many online options to pay Utility Bills and review your Account.

Another good practice is to make sure that all residents check every fixture in their home. The smallest leak or drop can add up to gallons.

I want to thank our wonderful Staff in DPW. Under the leadership of Director Jeff Odoms they are taking our City’s infrastructure to the next level. The emergency repairs are one component. Over the next months and years, our residents should rest assured that our team is knowledgeable, ready and making sure that services are in place for years to come!

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 my office at: (954) 457-1318. On my cell/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or email me at: jcooper@cohb.org