The great accomplishments of the world have been achieved by men who had high ideals and who have received great visions. The path is not easy, the climbing is rugged and hard, but the success at the end is worthwhile. The mightiest works have been accomplished by men who remain positive and kept their focus in the midst of adversity and distractions. From our humble beginning we continue to progress against all odds. I’ve learned in life that you will never get everyone on board. However, you can’t wait until they decide. You don’t forget them and when you arrive you will come back to get them. Helen Keller once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” As we come to the close of this year, I want to share some of our accomplishments during the last fiscal year.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROGRAM:
The Community Support initiative was established to assist qualified residents with varying needs. This program is set up to receive funds from Community Benefit Plan provided by developers who partner with the City. The funds are used to provide benefit to residents through the Minor Home Repair Grant Program; Childcare Assistance Grant Program; and the Tree Trimming Grant Program.
MINOR HOME REPAIR GRANT PROGRAM:
This program is designed to provide a forgivable loan to eligible residents for home repair projects. In an effort to ensure owner occupied units are not sold or rented for a three-year period, applicants are required to sign an agreement with the City.
CHILDCARE ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM:
This program provides financial assistance to eligible families to pay for quality child care. The maximum grant award is $600 per applicant.
TREE TRIMMING GRANT PROGRAM:
This program was established to mitigate negative effects associated with trees encroaching on existing Florida Power and Light power lines. Immediately after the program was established, we awarded 10 Minor Home Repair grants with 20 applicants on waiting list, one childcare assistance grant and one tree trimming grant.
BROWARD-UP COMMUNITY INITIATIVE:
In collaboration with Broward College, the goal of this program is to increase college access and attendance; improve degree and certification attainment; and to holistically raise social and economic mobility. The City executed a collaborative agreement with Broward College to: Design and deliver Broward College on-site workshop courses and programs for West Park residents and staff; Deliver certificate training at identified City locations aligned to employment within the area; create entrepreneurial programming for City residents, to include Start Up Now Accelerator; and to offer entrepreneur readiness workshops for residents.
TRANSIT ORIENTED CORRIDOR (TOC) EXPANSION:
This initiative allowed for the expansion of the present-day boundaries of the TOC to include a grass acreage of the amended property of approximately 231.58 acres. The rationale for the expansion of the boundaries seeks to:
• Increase the City’s stock of commercial land use to reduce the burden on residential property tax payers, who presently carry the majority of the burden of paying for City-related expenses
• Facilitate the aggregation of land for “Smart”, transit-oriented development,
• Provide the City with destination scale development opportunities to increase the tax base
• Enhance the quality of life of residents by providing greater access to nearby goods, services and jobs,
• Increase the image and brand of the City, and Generate opportunities to investors and local businesses to invest in the City in a manner that provides greater economic sustainability and return on investment.
DEVELOPMENT OF WATER TOWER PARK:
This initiative started in 2014 with the letter of intent to purchase a parcel of land located west of 3920 SW 38th Avenue in West Park (Folio Number: 5142-30-07-1052) from the County. In order to meet level of service standards for the population required by the County and the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the City needs to provide 43.8 acres of parks and open spaces for a population of 14,609 in 2012, per the U.S. census. With only the City’s two existing parks totaling approximately 22.3 acres and no other public or private facilities, the level of service is just 1.6 acres per 1,000 residents for the current population. The addition of Water Tower Park added 0.28 acres of City park space, thus making it a step toward the City meeting the 3 acre per every 1,000 residents’ requirement. This new park features playground equipment with a shade structure, picnic bench, and barbeque grill.
COUNTY LINE ROAD IMPROVEMENT:
This project exemplified the City’s thorough collaboration abilities. While the roadway belongs to both Broward County and Miami-Dade County, we were able to get both counties to commit over $650,000.00 toward resurfacing of the roadway while the City administered the project – a unique and uncommon funding commitment from two counties to a city. We completed the much-needed resurfacing from SW 56th Avenue to 525 feet east of SW 40th Avenue, with the installation of thermoplastic pavement markings and reflective pavement makers.
As we look forward to another progressive year remember that accomplishing the impossible means only that when others said it couldn’t be done some decided not to quit and made the decision to try and succeeded.
HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON,
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MAY GOD BLESS US ALL!