Palm Beach County Commission meeting update

WEST PALM BEACH — At the May 5 Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board took the following actions:

COVID-19 — received an update from Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health-Palm Beach County, on COVID-19 testing in the county. Approximately 2.2 percent of Palm Beach County residents have been tested, with a positivity rate of 10 percent.

Mobile testing — approved funding for the Health Care District of Palm Beach County in an amount not to exceed $500,000 to provide mobile COVID-19 testing in under-served neighborhoods and communities in Palm Beach County where additional testing opportunities are needed.

Restart — discussed fiscal and logistical strategies for a coordinated restart for businesses, beaches and other facilities and activities in Palm Beach County. The board agreed to have a special meeting on Friday, May 8, at 9:30 a.m. to review a plan for reopening local beaches, and authorized a letter from the mayor asking the governor’s office to allow a phase one reopening of businesses in Palm Beach County.

Emergency funding — approved the allocation of $3,935,468 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) Program funding and $1,941,176 in Emergency Solutions Grant Coronavirus (ESG-CV) Program funding to assist lower-income persons and businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19. This includes rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, housing counseling, feeding programs, small business assistance and program administration. These are federal CDBG-CV and ESG-CV funds and require no local match.

Airports — adopted a resolution authorizing the director of airports to negotiate and execute certain agreement modifications or amendments to provide temporary relief related to COVID-19 impacts.

Fire Rescue — adopted a resolution authorizing the donation of an engine and a rescue vehicle to 25 United Inc. to aid Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas. These assets are from Fire Rescue’s reserve fleet and inventory and are not needed for county purposes. The total estimated value of the assets is $22,500. The board also authorized acceptance of $769,966 in CARES Act Provider Relief funding.

CareerSource — adopted a resolution approving the CareerSource Palm Beach County FY 2020-2021 budget in the amount of $16.029 million for its programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The budget includes the following revenue sources: $12.944 million from the US Department of Labor; $2.357 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; $544,580 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; and $183,000 from private grants and local government.

ACTS — adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of Palm Beach County Health Facilities Retirement Communities revenue bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $25 million for ACTS Retirements-Life Communities Inc. in order for the company to refinance all or a portion of its revolving lines of credit issued by Bank of America and Branch Banking and Trust Company. ACTS operates four communities in Florida including two in Boca Raton. No county funds nor its taxing power, faith or credit shall be pledged to pay the principal, premium or interest on the bonds.

Tellus Products — approved an ad valorem tax exemption in an amount not to exceed $850,000 over a 10-year period for Tellus Products LLC. The Belle Glade company has met its obligation to make a minimum $40 million capital investment, create 71 new jobs over a five-year period at an annualized average wage of $50,000, and maintain them for five years. The project’s estimated economic impact over a five-year period is $162 million.

Delray Trails — accepted a civic site cash-out payment of $1,103,500 in lieu of an off-site civic dedication from 13FH Palm Beach LP (13th Floor), the developer of the Delray Trails at Villa Del Ray development.

441 Partners — approved the sale of a 15.68-acre county-owned parcel of land to 441 Partners Inc. for $750,000. The property is located west of U.S. 441/State Road 7, north of Forest Hill Blvd. and south of Southern Blvd. The company has indicated the property will be used as a buffer to the existing Black Diamond community by transferring development density to the adjacent parcel it currently owns.

Green Cay — authorized a fifth amendment to the lease agreement with Theodore and Gertrude Winsberg extending the term for one year at an annual rental rate of $1. In 1996, the county purchased 175 acres of property from the Winsbergs for the development of the Green Cay Wetlands Water Reclamation project, and the Winsbergs currently lease approximately 60 acres.

Transit Village — approved an amendment to the agreement for purchase and sale with Transit Village LLC providing for the temporary relocation of the Intermodal Transit Center to the train station property in West Palm Beach and extending the closing date to Aug. 13. It also provides for the parties to consider a permanent relocation if the county ultimately concludes that a permanent relocation is advisable.

Sheriff’s Office — approved agreements with the South Florida Water Management District and Oxbridge Academy to lease 19,692 and 31,500 square feet of office space, respectively, for the temporarily relocation of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office employees while the Gun Club Road headquarters is undergoing renovations.

Gould House — adopted a resolution approving the issuance of $35 million Housing Finance Authority of Palm Beach County multifamily housing revenue bonds to finance the costs of acquiring, constructing, renovating and equipping Gould House, a multifamily rental housing facility for the elderly or disabled containing approximately 101 units. The project is located at 21000 Ruth and Baron Coleman Boulevard in unincorporated Palm Beach County. No county funds nor its taxing power, faith or credit shall be pledged to pay the principal, premium or interest on the bonds.

Malibu Bay — adopted a resolution approving the issuance of $40 million in Housing Finance Authority of Palm Beach County multifamily housing revenue bonds to finance the costs of acquiring, constructing, renovating and equipping Malibu Bay Apartments. The multifamily rental housing facility contains approximately 264 units and is located at 750 Malibu Bay Drive in West Palm Beach. No county funds nor its taxing power, faith or credit shall be pledged to pay the principal, premium or interest on the bonds.

Palm Tran — ratified a labor management agreement between Palm Tran Inc. and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1577 covering Palm Tran bus operators, mechanics, utility workers and storekeepers for the three-year period of Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2022.

Communications — approved an amended and restated interlocal agreement with the City of West Palm Beach through May 4, 2025, allowing for interoperable communications through the countywide common talk groups of the county’s Public Safety Radio System.

Morikami — approved an agreement with The Morikami Inc. defining and clarifying roles pertaining to the funding, management, operation and use of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

Water Utilities — approved on first reading and to advertise for public hearing on June 16 an ordinance adding Section 27-81, “Requirements for Dental Facilities that Remove or Place Amalgam Fillings” and amending sections 27-65, “Definitions” and 27-69, “Prohibitions and Limitations of Discharge” of Chapter 27, Article IV, of the Palm Beach County Code. These changes reflect requirements set forth by the EPA in the updated Clean Water Act requiring dentists who handle dental amalgam (tooth fillings) to pretreat their wastewater to remove dental amalgam before it enters the public treatment works system.

Retirement — recognized and thanked Water Utilities Deputy Director Hassan Hadjimiry, who is retiring after 38 years of service with the county.

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