As many of you are aware, we elected a new commissioner to replace Commissioner Sharon Fyffe. We will all miss her presence and will always be grateful for the commitment and dedication she exemplified during her service to the City. As we turn the page and begin a new chapter, we congratulate Commissioner Brian Johnson who now joins us as we move forward and continue to equip our City for the present and future. Our City is still doing well based upon our recent audit. I do realize that there are times when statements are made without factual information. I encourage all to not only hear about what was done, but seek to find out why it was done. To get our City to the place where we are all proud will take good ideas and sacrifice. The things that have been done and the things that are being done are designed to make our City better. When ideas are converted to practice they become great accomplishments. The great accomplishments of the world have been achieved by those who had high ideals and who received great concepts. The path to achievement is not easy — the climbing is rugged and hard, but the success at the end is worthwhile. A majority of the great historic accomplishments of the past have been the final result of a persistent struggle against discouragement and potential failure. However, a person is never beaten until they think they are. Without perseverance, the chances of succeeding are small. With a great mental picture in mind for our City we have moved from one accomplishment to another using the materials we had as steppingstones. Listed below are some of the accomplishments of the last two quarters. Accomplishments for the period October 2013 to March 2014:
1. Submitted a funding request to FDEP for McTyre Park improvements at an estimated cost of $400,000. The much needed improvement includes the construction of multipurpose field, that could be used for activities such as, tackle football, flag football and soccer programs.
2. Submitted a funding request to FDEP for Mary Saunders Park Improvement in an estimated improvement cost of $120,000. The much needed improvement will include the leveling and grading of the playing fields, installation of all-purpose field light fixtures and the construction of a picnic area.
3. Submitted a funding request to the County’s 40th Year Community Development Block Grant for traffic calming initiatives at the intersection of SW 20 Street and SW 57 Avenue. The intent is to prepare the needed construction plans for devices that would control traffic intrusion and slow down vehicles traveling through the intersection.
4. Submitted a funding request to the County’s 40th Year Community Development Block Grant for the Complete Street Improvement along SW 40 Avenue from County Line Road to Pembroke Road. The proposed improvement includes upgrading of the drainage system along the corridor; construction of bike lanes; a new sidewalk; installation of traffic calming devices; asphalt resurfacing; pavement markings with the installation of regulatory signs; and a landscaping and irrigation system installation.
5. Accepted the grant award of $980,807.00 from Broward Redevelop ment Program for the Complete Street Improvement project along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SW 56 Avenue) from County Line Road to Pembroke Road. The funding would provide much needed drainage system upgrade along the corridor; construction of bike lanes; new sidewalk; installation of traffic calming devices; asphalt resurfacing; pavement marking with the installation of regulatory signs; landscaping and irrigation system installation.
6. Worked with a new business owner to establish a new business in the City, the “Bee Creative Day Care Center”, located at 4009 West Hallandale Beach Boulevard.
7. Accepted a grant award of $462,800.00 from the Broward Redevelopment Program for the acquisition and interior build-out of the property located at 1901 South State Road 7 (formerly the post office property). With this funding award, the City will be able to seek development that will create new jobs along with an increased tax base for the community.
8. Accepted a grant award from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice in the amount of $17,697.00 for the City’s After School Program at Mary Saunders Park.
9. Submitted funding requests in response to the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2014-15 Water Projects grants to aid in the funding of drainage improvement projects along the City’s streets to include, SW 40 Avenue, along with other retrofits / upgrades needed per the City’s Storm Water Management Master Plan.
10. Submitted a funding request to the State Legislation for the following priority items:
• Citywide Drainage Improvements $ 2,900,000 (Preparation Retention Ponds for Redevelopment)
• SW 40th Avenue Complete Street Improvement $ 1,650,000 (Pembroke Road to County Line Road)
• State Road 7 Pedestrian Lights $ 650,000
• State Road 7 Entrance Signage $ 300,000
• McTyre Park Master Plan – Phase I – III $ 16,000,000 (Building Construction)
• Traffic Calming – Plan – Phase I $ 500,000 (Study Areas A, B, & C)
• Senior Programming $ 150,000.00
11. Submitted a funding request in response to the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2014-15 Water Projects grants to aid in funding of drainage system enhancements and economic development initiatives for preparing retention ponds along the State Road 7 Corridor for development. With the use of the proposed storm trap structures along with the existing high performance hydrodynamic separators, the properties will be ready for development with the following estimated costs requested for funding:
• Pond 1: South State Road 7 and Hallandale Beach Blvd – $1,031,202.00
• Pond 2: 3151 South State Road 7 – $799,369.73
• Pond 3: South State Road 7 and S.W. 36th Street – $979,361.01
12. Completed the McTyre Park parking lot improvement construction project. The improvements include a new drainage system; properly aligned parking stalls to conform to the City’s Code; installation of traffic calming devices; asphalt resurfacing; landscaping with irrigation; pavement marking; and signage. The parking lot was re-opened to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, March 1, 2014.
13. Accepted the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. These funds will be used for the purpose of reducing crime and enhancing public safety at a public facility.
14. Completed the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended September 30, 2013. The Independent Auditor’s Report indicates that the financial statements were presented fairly in all material respects. The respective financial position of the government activities and each major fund of the City and the respective changes in financial position for the year ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
15. Established the South Broward Explorer Program. This program is open to high school students to college aged young adults from West Park and Pembroke Park who may be thinking about a career in law enforcement. Explorers receive educational training on the purposes, mission and objectives of law enforcement along with an opportunity to get involved in community service activities. It provides a unique opportunity to interact with law enforcement personnel and community advisors in scenarios where students are able to exercise their own personal initiative. Explorers receive diverse training in the areas of self-defense; patrol procedures; traffic stops; report writing; domestic violence; Florida law; and arrest procedures. These real world activities will allow young Explorers to make an informed decision about whether they wish to pursue law enforcement as a career.
16. Successfully implemented the following City sponsored and supported events and programs:
a. Mary Kendrick Thanksgiving Feed The Needy Feast
b. Holiday Toy Drive
c. Mother’s Day Breakfast
d. Ongoing After School Program
e. Ongoing Senior Program
As you can see, our efforts are far reaching as we seek to make our City better. This month Spring is in the air! We have reached the time of year when I’d like to wish all residents a Happy Easter, whether you are a Christian or not. Easter is the most important Christian festival. It is also the first public holiday of the year. The clocks have now gone forward and we’re at the start of spring – a time of new life. You only have to look around you to see that leaves are sprouting on the trees and the days are longer. We’ve reached a time for optimism and for looking forward to better things. If you plan to attend one of West Park’s many church services this Easter, I sincerely hope you find the upliftment you are seeking, and that you enjoy the holiday with those you love. In closing I’d like to remind all that we will also celebrate EARTH DAY this month. It was on April 22, 1970, after years of convincing our leaders, that the first Earth Day protest received astounding support. On that first Earth Day, an estimated 20 million Americans took to the streets in support of preserving the environment and in protest against harmful environmental practices. This effort produced a lasting impact on the environment and brought about greater awareness that our planet had limited resources, and that our ecosystem was self-contained and finite. The things we put in the air, water and earth were impacting us. Let us all do our part in making our world a better place to live. GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 954.889.4153 with any questions you may have.