Water, Wastewater And Stormwater: Hallandale Beach Needs Over $230 Million Dollars For Its Projects
By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper
January 26, 2023
Over the past few articles, I have been updating our residents on our Infrastructure Projects. In all there is a current need of over $230 Million Dollars in projects that must be completed to secure our Water, Wastewater and Stormwater needs. These projects will span over many years and will be funded from Revenue Bonds, GO Bonds and other Funds secured through Government Grants. $181 Million Dollars in costs are planned to be paid for by Revenue Bonds and the rest will come to voters in the form of a GO Bond. It needs to be noted that the cost of construction has increased so these projections will vary depending on future cost increases or decreases.
At the last meeting, we adopted a Budget Amendment to authorize moving forward with $53 Million Dollars in Revenue Bonds to pay for the repair and replacement of many of our Lift Stations, Underground Water Pipes and expanded Water Resources. The planned projects will be spread over different areas depending on the critical need and age.
Over the past year, we have adopted these projects into our 5-year Capital Improvement Plan and have adopted rate increases. Rate increases will also be phased in over the years as projects come online. This coming year we have authorized an additional rate study to fine tune the process. Our Finance Staff has been working alongside a consultant that specializes in this type of borrowing. In March we will be receiving the updated study.
I understand that many residents, in particular our condominium owners, are going through their own 40 and 50 Year Inspections. Our process is similar in that these projects are not wanted, they are needed. Like many condos, the previous Commission kicked the can down the road. For five years, due to changes in management and Commissions, many projects sat on the shelf. We sympathize with struggling residents but like Assessments these rate increases are a requirement to fix the City.
Last year we received the great news that as part of helping communities in South Florida the Governor authorized Direct Grants to a handful of communities that had projects ready to do. Hallandale Beach received over $15 Million Dollars towards our Lift Stations. These types of Grants do help but will not pay for all our needs. We continue to apply for every Grant possible and every Federal Program.
Dr. Jeremy Earle our City Manager has put together an amazing group of professionals who have worked righting many wrongs of the past. Thankfully we have a great Commission which I would like to say is shenanigan FREE and laser focused on making sure we provide oversight and direction to keep our City moving forward.
Last meeting, we also kept a promise to our residents to evaluate our on street parking program. This project was controversial during the last Election. We know that anything new and especially with a price tag will not be a fan favorite. We actually discussed and worked on the program many times before it was approved unanimously last year. Since then the program has been successful in addressing many parking complaints that we heard about in the past.
We stopped the storage of resident’s vehicles, over parking of vacation rentals, trailer storage, commercial vehicle storage, many of which were not even from our City. These changes freed up spots for our residents. The program does have various rates for Residential and Nonresidential Parking depending on the location. A monthly pass runs $30 Dollars a day.
There were some false statements made during the Election that need to be addressed. The first was that there is paid parking at our parks. This is not true. There is paid parking on the City streets around some of our parks. Parks that have parking lots are open and FREE. We charge for on street around the parks to address the same problems we have had around the City. Also we are not the only city that has parking programs. Many cities including Hollywood, Pompano, Wilton Manors and Dania all have programs.
One area that I and some of my colleagues were concerned about was for home service providers particularly nurses and care providers having to pay Visitor Rates. The new proposals would provide for a Discount Rate for what will be called Workforce Pass. It will allow for businesses needing to park for employees and service providers. We will also be working with developers and their tradesmen to provide parking arrangements. This will stop swale storage and other issues created during construction. We are also changing Beach Parking to Flat Rate Parking to $5 Dollars per hour. This will help stimulate turnover at the parks.
The City will be bringing back these changes and adopting a new Parking Ordinance that will reflect State Laws. As a note State Law provides 4 hours of FREE Handicapped Parking on the street and 100 percent FREE Disabled Veterans Parking. Some cities do not provide FREE Parking for Disabled off the street in their lots. I support 4 hours FREE. This would impact beach lots as we do not charge for other parking lots. This issue was debated but not voted on. When ordinance comes back we will be discussing it and also incorporating stronger Scoff Laws.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.