With summer coming to an end and our children returning to school, there is much to report. There are many exciting things that have happened over these past few months. There’s the presenting and establishing of a balanced, responsible City budget and the city being awarded several grants – including the amount of $700,000, thanks to the assistance of State Senator Oscar Braynon and State Representative Shevrin Jones. This funding will aid the City’s SW 40 Avenue improvements and aid in the development initiatives along State Road 7.
Our city has a goal and as our Commission works along with our City Manager and his staff I am bullish about our prospects. Goals serve as a stimulus to life. They tend to tap the deeper resources and draw out of life its best. Where there are no goals, neither will there be significant accomplishments. Someone once said, “The great accomplishments of the world have been achieved by men and women who had high ideals and who have received great visions. The path is not easy; the climbing is rugged and hard, but the glory in the end is worthwhile.” A great community doesn’t come in a package. It is not a commodity to be taken down from the shelf with one hand it is an accomplishment of unity and perseverance.
A vision foretells what may be ours. It is an invitation to do something. With a great mental picture in mind we go from one accomplishment to another, using the materials about us only as steppingstones to that which is higher and better and more satisfying. We thus become possessors of the unseen values which we dream of. I am excited about the positive direction we are continuing to move in! Our commission and city staff are working hard on behalf of our City and its residents. Often some of the best suggestions for keeping our City running smoothly come from the people who live and work here every day. This is why I want to remind you to feel free to contact us at any time. Below is a list of our accomplishments for the last quarter:
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: April 2014 to August 2014
1. Completed the largest roadway infrastructure improvement project since the City’s incorporation on SW 56 Avenue / Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. This $2.3 million improvement project provided much-needed traffic calming along the 1.5 mile corridor; improved the drainage system; resurfaced streets and bike lanes; marked pavements with regulatory signs landscaped medians and swales and improved the irrigation system.
2. Constructed and unveiled the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument to memorialize and officially recognize the co-naming of SW 56 Avenue as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
3. Launched a free Community Bus Shuttle Service for the benefit of residents. This free shuttle service will increase the number of destinations and connections that can be reached through public transit.
4. With funding support from the Children’s Services Council, we successfully completed the City’s annual summer camp (Juvenile Crime Prevention Program). Since its inception over 150 children have been serviced as we end the program’s second year of existence.
5. The City was awarded the first State Legislative Appropriation award in the amount of $700,000. With the assistance of State Senator Oscar Braynon and State Representative Shevrin Jones, the City was able to receive this award for SW 40 Avenue improvements and development initiatives along State Road 7.
6. The City secured funding and implemented the “Earn A Bike” program through community partners such as Florida Introduces Physical Activities and Nutrition to Youth (FLIPANY), Urban Health Solutions, Broward Regional Planning Council, and Transforming Our Community’s Health (TOUCH). This hands-on learning and earning program allowed youth to learn the basics of bicycle repair, maintenance and safe riding while refurbishing an abandoned bike.
7. The City presented annual academic achievement awards to students from Lake Forest Elementary School, Watkins Elementary School, McNicol Middle School and Stranahan High School. The students were nominated by their principals based on outstanding academic performance, overall GPA and community involvement. The City also awarded college scholarships to three local high school students who reside in West Park.
8. We received the Community Development Block Grant award in the amount of $89,301.00 for SW 56 Avenue / Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard improvements.
9. We received a grant from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Communities for a Lifetime Program to provide free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for residents 60 years and older. This keeps our senior residents safe and provides early detection of fire in homes and could mean the difference between life and death.
10. Successfully implemented the following City sponsored events and programs:
• Father’s Day Celebration
• Earth Day Celebration and Recycling Fair
• Senior’s Summer Program
• Goombay Festival In closing, please keep in mind that our children have returned to the classrooms.
Let us be extra careful on the roadways.