It's All About Community: From Infrastructure To The MLK Celebration Residents Are Working Together
By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper
January 19, 2023
Over the past two weeks I have been writing about our City’s plan to address our underground Infrastructure. It is not a surprise that these projects are a major expense. A good example of just how expensive they are is our 14th Avenue/ Southwest Drainage Improvements. Thanks to a joint lobbying effort between staff, Congresswoman Wasserman-Shultz, our DC Lobbyist Maurice Kurland and myself, we received over $20 Million Dollars to build the pumping systems. These Funds were combined with City Funds and CRA Funds to complete the projects. Another is the addition to our Water Plant to ensure access to safe drinking water. To add one skid to process and filter water costs $6 Million Dollars.
The main way to pay for water projects is through Revenue Bonds. The City evaluates the needs and then models our rate structure to allow for repayment. A few years ago, there was an increase in rates that provided for revenue bonds. The City has been working to advance over $53 Million Dollars in projects. As of the writing of this article, our City will be presented with more fine-tuned data to go out for bonds.
Revenue Bonds are not the sole source of funding. Our Staff continues to apply for grants. We apply for all types of Grants. To date, excluding 19 allocated from the state for COVID-19 we have applied for $40 Million Dollars in Grants. The amount of our largest Grant to date was from the State for $15 Million Dollars to address our Wastewater Lift Stations. This allocation was one of the largest directly to a city. We were already contracted to do the work and it was in design. This proactive planning helped us to secure the Grants. Another was for $2 Million Dollars, also for water projects.
We will continue to do all we can to acquire Grants to address our needs. Many are competitive so they are not guaranteed. This year we have already begun to increase Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Rates. We understand that many residents are being faced with expenses from 40 Year and 50 Year Inspections and insurance increases. Just like condominiums and households we have to address our aging Infrastructure.
Another question I receive is about development. All developers must pay impact fees when they create demands. They pay for Water, Wastewater, Stormwater, Transportation, Parks, Schools, Affordable Housing and other impacts up front. No one gets a free pass.
Next week I will go into what was presented at our last Commission Meeting.
This past Monday we held the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. It was the first since COVID-19. This event and parade are sponsored in partnership with the Community Civic Association. President Qunea Gordon Former Candidate for Commission and Hallandale Beach born and raised, took the reins of CCC and did a fabulous job fundraising and organizing the events that day.
She led Terri Baker who recruited vendors, Keena Johnson Former President who helped with vendor setup and of course our great parks staff led by Director Cathy Schanz. It was great seeing many of our staff members out and walking in the parade. Commissioner Lazarow, City Manager Dr. Earle, Assistant City Manager Sharon Ragoonan, Deputy Director of our CRA Faith Phinn and the CRA team all joined together and walked the parade route.
The parade started at BJ James Park and continued to Hallandale Beach Boulevard west to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Northwest 8th Avenue to OB Johnson Park. There were many wonderful participants. Miss Senior Florida Wanetta “Vanessa” Massey who was born and raised in Hallandale Beach, Joanne Simpson, Senior Olympian Gloria Stoner 2022 Broward County Pioneer and Past Treasurer of CCC longstanding resident and Pastor Allen representing the Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Food Pantry. The Food Pantry and all of the volunteers were recognized as the MLK Humanitarian Organization Of The Year. The church has been hosting the pantry for over 35 years. They provide food but also serve hot meals for those in need.
I had the chance to speak during the ceremony. The theme was all about the Children. We often forget while we are caught up in our own politics and beliefs how hatred is impacting the next generation. We need to realize that individually we all have the power to share light and knowledge. To speak up against hatred. It was wonderful to have both Principal Campbell for Gulfstream Academy K-8 and Principal Howard for Hallandale High School join in the event and speak about the future and unity to help raise the next generation of leaders.
I look forward to continuing to serve and keeping our residents informed. 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: email@example.com.