LauderBriefs: Updates from the July 7 City Commission Meetings
The City of Fort Lauderdale will be hosting virtual Commission meetings using audio/video conferencing software until further notice. The public can listen to and view virtual meetings on FLTV, YouTube, Zoom, Comcast Channel 78, and AT&T U-verse Channel 99. To learn more about virtual City Commission meetings, including how to view agendas and sign up to speak, visit fortlauderdale.gov/vcmeetings.
In case you missed them, following are highlights from the virtual Fort Lauderdale City Commission meetings on Tuesday, July 7. The videos are available a youtube.com/CityofFortLauderdale and the vote summaries will be available this week at bit.ly/ftlccagendas.
CITY COMMISSION CONFERENCE MEETING
$2.6 Million Emergency Contract Awarded for Force Main Replacement City staff informed the Commission that an emergency contract has been awarded to CES Construction, in the amount of $2,636,578 for the design, permitting, construction, startup, and testing of a new force main along N.W. 13 Street. The project was competitively bid, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions a review committee could not be assembled to make a recommendation. As a result, a contract was awarded under the City’s emergency purchasing procedures to the lowest bidder. The new 30-inch force main, which will be installed using a combination of trenchless and open cut technologies, will run along N.W. 13 Street from Powerline Road on the west to Andrews Avenue on the east. In addition, the scope of work will include replacing an existing inoperable valve on N.E. 14 Avenue and 11 Street. For details, visit bit.ly/2ZGUtmU.
Community Shuttle Program Update The City Commission received an update from staff regarding the operations of the Community Shuttle Service (i.e., Sun Trolley). Broward County identified “noncompliance” concerns related to the terms of the Interlocal Agreement which governs the operation of the program. Areas for improvement that were identified include service delivery, solicitation process, Title VI requirements, revenue generation, and wave and ride service. Staff is proposing improvements that address the issues including: consolidating the management and administration of the program by having the City oversee both functions; undertaking a competitive solicitation process to identify a new operator; eliminating farebox collections, sponsorships, and charter services; complying with Title VI requirements; and ending the wave and ride system in favor of establishing permanent ADA compliant bus stops. By implementing the changes, Broward County will allocate $1.5 million to fund the operation of the service, as well as lease buses to the City for $10 per year. For details, visit bit.ly/320KRX3.
CRA BOARD MEETING
CRA Board Approves Additions to Aquatic Center Renovation Project
The City Commission, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board of Commissioners, approved funding to support the addition of a north observation deck and 27-meter dive tower as part of the ongoing improvements at the Aquatic Center at a total cost of $7,870,261. The 27-meter dive tower will be constructed using precast concrete sections and includes decorative glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) cladding and decorative lighting. The $5,101,060 cost will be paid for with CRA funds. The north observation deck adds approximately 2,800 square feet of amenity space and includes new elevator and stair tower access, architectural GFRC cladding on the building, and decorative railings and lighting. The $2,769,201 cost will be paid for with park impact fees. For details, visit bit.ly/38C1hGD.
CRA Board Approves Allocation of $325,000 for Donna's Caribbean Restaurant
The CRA Board of Commissioners approved an allocation of $325,000 from the CRA’s Property and Business Investment Improvement Program to Junny Investment Group, LLC, for Donna’s Caribbean Restaurant located at 2012 NW 6 Street. This amount includes the applicant’s original request of $225,000 for construction, $65,000 for the installation of a surface water drainage tank, and an additional $35,000 that may be awarded to the applicant to cover legitimate cost overruns for the project. Once completed, Donna’s will provide the Sistrunk and Fort Lauderdale area with quality Caribbean food, specializing in West Indian cuisine with exotic island fare, including curried goat, oxtail, jerk chicken, patties, ackee and saltfish, callaloo and escovitch fish, seasoned in special herbs and spices with fruit and vegetables of the Caribbean. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as event catering. For details, visit bit.ly/3ecfhIf.
CITY COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
Commission Approves $548,329 Settlement with WPRK Family Trust
The City Commission approved a motion authorizing settlement of all potential liability claims in the amount of $548,329 with WPRK Family Trust, as the property owner of 901 Ponce de Leon Drive. The settlement was the result of a City sanitary sewer pipe break in the Rio Vista neighborhood, which caused personal property damage, flooding, and loss of use, and required environmental remediation services. The settlement requires the property owner to execute a full general release extinguishing all claims against the City. For details, visit bit.ly/3ege0jv.
Extension to Grant Agreement Approved for 9/11 Memorial at Riverwalk
The Commission approved an extension to a grant agreement with Broward County related to the allocation and distribution of $7,500 to the City of Fort Lauderdale from the Broward County Parks Bond Program to help fund the 9/11 Memorial at Riverwalk. The motion extends the agreement through December 25, 2020, to allow additional time to complete the project. For details, visit bit.ly/2ABKOp4.
City Commission Accepts Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program Grant
The City Commission accepted a $265,921 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) intended to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. The City proposes to use these funds from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation, to acquire personal protective equipment for Police and Fire Rescue personnel. This is a two-year program and grant funds may be applied retroactively to January 20, 2020. For details, visit bit.ly/38znt3U.
Commission Accepts $27,777 Grant from Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
The Commission passed a motion approving the acceptance of a grant extension and additional funding in the amount of $27,777 from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. The funding will be used to continue a successful program administered by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department designed to address the issue of overrepresentation of minority youth in Florida’s juvenile justice system. The grant will allow the program to continue to deliver Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) services thru the provision of a DMC curriculum, including training, focus groups, and DMC analysis reports. For details, visit bit.ly/3iG9wpx.
Streetscape Improvements for Downtown Mobility Hub
The City Commission approved a motion to authorize the execution of Streetscape Easement Agreements for (1) NW 1st Avenue and (2) NW 2nd Street for the installation of streetscape improvements for the construction of the Downtown Mobility Hub. The $3.5 million project is providing infrastructure improvements within a multi-block area that will improve mobility and connect people to various transportation choices, such as Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline), Broward County Transit’s regional express and local bus service, shuttle service to the Tri-Rail station, and to Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley Community Bus Service. Improvements include new pavement, sidewalks, shade trees, pedestrian lighting, bike lanes, and landscaping along NW 4th Street, NW 2nd Street, NW 1st Street, NW 1st Avenue, and Flagler Greenway in the area surrounding the Broward County Transit Terminal. For details, visit bit.ly/3gCyowF.
Consolidated Budget Amendment Approved
The City Commission adopted a resolution amending the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget, and Personnel Complement, and FY 2020 – FY 2024 Community Investment Plan (CIP). Highlights of the budget amendment include:
West Lake Drive Bridge Restoration
The City Commission allocated $16,000 in additional funding for the design work and in-house project management for the West Lake Drive Bridge Restoration Project. This project will include the design, permit, and construction management services for the rehabilitation of the West Lake Bridge located on West Lake Drive in the Harbor Beach neighborhood.
Refurbishment of Fiveash Water Treatment Plant Steel Tank North
The City Commission approved $776,123 in additional funding for the refurbishment of the Fiveash Water Treatment Plant 5 Million Gallon Steel Tank North project. The tank has been in service for over 30 years and is in need of rehabilitation.
Peele-Dixie Water Treatment Plant Facility Improvements and Maintenance
The City Commission allocated $555,000 for maintenance and improvements of the Peele-Dixie Water Treatment Plant. The scope of work at the facility includes the replacement of roofs, stucco repairs, protective coatings, and asphalt resurfacing to comply with State and Federal code requirements.
Fiveash Water Treatment Plant Maintenance
The City Commission allocated $485,000 for repairs and maintenance at the Fiveash Water Treatment Plant. The scope of work includes the repair and replacement of the facility’s lime silo, cables, and exterior doors.
Water and Sewer Systems Operations
An allocation of $1,232,000 was approved by the City Commission to fund the continued repairs, maintenance, and operations of the City’s Water Distribution and Sewer Collections System. The funding will ensure continuity of operations and timely repairs to help avoid service interruptions.
Restock Water and Sewer Pipeyard Inventory
An allocation of $1,290,000 was approved by the City Commission to replenish the water and sewer pipeyard inventory. The funding will allow essential purchases to be made to ensure an adequate stock of water pipes, water meters, fittings and related parts and materials to address water and sewer repairs and maintenance.
Las Olas Isles Undergrounding Utilities
An appropriation of $125,000 was approved by the City Commission to hire a consultant to act as the project manager for the Las Olas Isles Undergrounding Utilities project. the project manager will coordinate the installation of underground utility lines in the Las Olas Isles Neighborhood.
Restoration of Hector Park and Virginia Young Park
The City Commission approved an allocation of $1,933,720 for the restoration of Hector Park and Virginia Young Park, which were damaged as a result of sewer main breaks that occurred in the Rio Vista neighborhood. The funding will be used for operating costs related to the restoration of both parks, as well as roadway and sidewalk repairs.
George T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant Cryogenic Plant Upgrades
Additional funding in the amount of $5,134,778 was approved by the City Commission for the George T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant Cryogenic Plant Upgrades. The allocation will be used to fund the design-build contract award, in-house project management fees, and construction engineering inspection (CEI) services for the $17 million project that will replace the plant’s current pure liquid oxygen (LOX) system with a new Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) technology.
Las Olas Tunnel Top Park
The City Commission approved an appropriation of $9,098,000 in Parks and Recreation Bond Funds for the construction of the Las Olas Tunnel Top Park project. The project will include the pedestrian plaza structure, raising the intersection of Las Olas Boulevard and SE 6 Avenue, reconstructing the north ventilation building, along with the design and construction of landscape and hardscape elements of tunnel top plaza and Laura Ward Riverwalk Plaza. Additional project amenities will include park benches and areas designed for shade and a tourist kiosk.
Building Division Adding Staff
The City Commission approved adding 13 new positions in the Building Division to enforce the Florida Building Code, maintain the City’s high standards of building integrity, preserve neighborhood property values, and meet the current and anticipated increases in workloads for both administrative and professional and technical expertise. Proposed new positions will cover areas including permit intake; call center and property records services; floodplain development review and management; construction enforcement; plans review specialist; inspectors, plans examiners, and permit technicians; code enforcement officer; senior management analyst; administrative aides; and a satellite team to focus on the Broward County Convention Center and Hotel expansion project.
For details on the items included in the budget amendment, visit bit.ly/2BHaame.
City to Partner with Broward College to Implement Workforce Education Program
The City Commission authorized the City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Broward College to develop and implement a workforce education program in Fort Lauderdale. Broward College’s Broward UP (Unlimited Potential), is expanding the college’s business model to deliver workforce education courses and programs, along with career readiness and related support services in areas most affected by intergenerational poverty and lack of economic mobility. Instead of recruiting students to existing Broward College campuses, Broward UP seeks to move into communities to bring college and support services and encourage certificate and degree completion and job readiness skills. For details, visit bit.ly/3gGEfBb.
City Seeks to Reduce FLL Aircraft Noise Impacts
The City Commission adopted a resolution requesting a modification to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) South-Central Florida Metroplex Draft Environmental Assessment to adjust departure procedures to reduce aircraft noise from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on City neighborhoods. Under the current departure procedures, neighbors living in the southwest section of Fort Lauderdale are impacted when aircraft fly over their homes while departing FLL Runways 10L and 28R. The public comment period for the assessment, which is intended as a way to improve the efficiency of the national airspace system in the South-Central Florida area airspace by optimizing aircraft arrival and departure procedures at several airports including FLL, is open until July 10, 2020. For details, visit bit.ly/3iHC0zm.
City Commission Approves Maintenance Agreement with FDOT for Decorative Lighting
The City Commission approved the execution of a Maintenance Memorandum of Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to repair, restore, and maintain decorative pedestrian lighting along A1A, SE 17 Street, Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, and North Ocean Boulevard. In an effort to better match the existing decorative pedestrian lighting in the area, FDOT will utilize decorative concrete poles for five new streetlights being installed along A1A from US 1/Federal Highway to Harbor Drive. The City will fund the difference in cost between standard and decorative lighting and agree to maintain the poles. For details, visit bit.ly/2ZMS1LF.
Resolution Adopted Supporting Feasibility Services for LauderTrail Project
The Commission adopted a resolution in support of the City’s application to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for feasibility study funding for the LauderTrail Project. The MPO is accepting applications for its Planning Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), an initiative designed to collaborate with municipalities to assist with planning efforts, prioritization, and the funding of diverse transportation options. The PTAP includes a funding source of $600,000 for countywide efforts, and awards are application based. The LauderTrail project is an urban trail designed to connect neighborhoods and destinations in a safe and enjoyable way for all its users. For details, visit bit.ly/38CmxvK.
$17 Million in Upgrades Approved for George T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant
The City Commission approved a design-build contract in the amount of $17,395,000 with PCL Construction for cryogenic plant upgrades at the George T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project will replace the plant’s current pure liquid oxygen (LOX) system with a new Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) technology. For details, visit bit.ly/2VZazHm.
$7.8 Million Approved for New Aquatic Center Project Amenities
The City Commission approved $7,870,261 for the construction of a 27-meter dive tower and a north observation deck as part of the Aquatic Center Improvement Project. The new tower will be the first 27-meter permanent dive tower in the United States. The north observation deck will add approximately 2,800 square feet of public space and will include an elevator and stair tower, decorative lighting, exterior architectural cladding on the building structure, and decorative railings. For details, visit bit.ly/3gD1sE5.
Gunshot Detection Technology Approved to Help Reduce Gun Violence
The City Commission approved a three-year contract in the amount of $595,000 for the proprietary purchase of gunshot detection, location, and forensic analysis service from ShotSpotter, Inc. The initial annual fee in the amount of $205,000 will be funded from the Department of Justice Trust Fund. ShotSpotter is a detection and investigative tool that will provide real-time gunfire intelligence to assist the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in its efforts to more effectively respond to and investigate gunfire incidents. In addition, the tool will be part of a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence in the City. ShotSpotter detects and locates gunfire through detection devices which provide a quick, precise response to over 90 percent of shooting incidents in a targeted area. This results in a deterrent effect and disrupts the gun violence cycle. Further, ShotSpotter helps protect officers by providing comprehensive tracking data of incidents in the community as well as critical intelligence in near real-time when responding to specific incidents. ShotSpotter also provides police departments the unique opportunity to rapidly respond to gun violence in the community that is often unreported. For details, visit bit.ly/2ZSRA2v.
Commission Approves Use of HOPWA AIDS CARES Act Grant
The City Commission approved the use of Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) CARES Act entitlement funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the amount of $1,035,298 for operations, rental assistance, supportive services, and other necessary actions, in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. The breakdown of the proposed funding use is as follows: $62,118 for program administration; $757,551 for short-term rent, mortgage, utility and hotel voucher emergency assistance: $174,826 for facility based housing; and $40,803 for food assistance. For details, visit bit.ly/2W2BPF8.
Commission Votes Against Allocating Bond Funds for Land Purchase
The City Commission voted against a recommendation from the Parks, Recreation, and Beaches Advisory Board to allocate $2.625 million of Parks General Obligation Bond dollars for the purchase of land located at 1016 Waverly Road. For details, visit bit.ly/3fbaUyd.
$7 Million Approved for New South Building at Aquatic Center
The City Commission approved a recommendation from the Parks, Recreation, and Beaches Advisory Board to appropriate $7 million of Parks and Recreation General Obligation Bond funds for the design and construction of the new south building at the Aquatic Center Complex. The proposed new south building will be a two-story structure with restroom, locker rooms, weight room, administrative support space and meeting rooms, first aid stations, timing rooms, and other associated amenities. For details, visit bit.ly/2Z7i80C.
Commission Approves Hector Park Project
The City Commission approved a recommendation from the Parks, Recreation, and Beaches Advisory Board to appropriate $74,500 of Parks General Obligation Bond funds to the Hector Park improvements. Enhancements to the park will include: new shade and flowering trees; picnic tables and benches; bike racks; trash and recycle bins; earth berms with new sod throughout; and a new irrigation system. For details, visit bit.ly/2O7srvC.
Commission Approves Virginia Young Park Project
The City Commission approved a recommendation from the Parks, Recreation and Beaches Advisory Board to allocate $331,500 of Parks General Obligation Bond funds for improvements to Virginia S. Young Park. Enhancements will include: new handicap accessible playground equipment and swing sets for both 2-5 and 5-12 age groups with new safety surfacing; shade tents and lighting; new parallel parking for both cars and golf carts; picnic tables and benches; bike rack; trash and recycle bins; earth berms with new sod throughout; and repairs to the park’s existing irrigation system. For details, visit bit.ly/2VYxouU.
City Commission Approves Changes to Sun Trolley Service
The City Commission approved an amendment to the Interlocal Agreement (ILA) with Broward County for the Community Shuttle Service (i.e., Sun Trolley). The ILA, originally approved in October 2019, includes the terms and conditions for providing a County-funded Community Shuttle Service in Fort Lauderdale. Earlier this year, City and County staff met to discuss the Community Shuttle Service, resulting in this amendment that eliminates fares for the Beach Link and Las Olas Link routes, removes advertising on vehicles used in providing the service, and designates specific locations for Community Shuttle Service stops. These changes will take effect on August 19, 2020. For details, visit bit.ly/31YfSdR.
City Commission Approves Amendment to Fire Protection Ordinance
The City Commission approved an ordinance on first reading amending Section 13-58 of the City’s Code of Ordinances by adding third-party reporting requirements for all fire protection systems. Presently, the City’s Fire Inspectors are required to verify fire suppression and alarm detection third-party contractor inspection reports that are performed on a monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly frequency depending on the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) schedule required by the State of Florida. A third-party reporting system will allow Fire Prevention Bureau staff to verify compliance within the third-party software. In addition, it will facilitate documenting the inspections of fire suppression systems for the Insurance Service’s Office (ISO) compliance reviews, which require copies of ITM reports in order to credit the City’s insurance rating. For details, visit bit.ly/3fcbax8.
City Commission Approves Ordinance on Public Art and Placemaking
The City Commission, recognizing that providing for public art and enhancing the appearance of buildings and spaces provides multiple benefits to the community, approved on second reading an ordinance entitled Public Art and Placemaking. The ordinance establishes guidelines for the incorporation of public art into City projects, the creation of a public art fund, and the establishment of a seven-member Public Art and Placemaking Advisory Board. Parks and Recreation staff has been working closely with staff from the Broward County Cultural Division on an interlocal agreement to allow Broward County to administer the program on the City’s behalf. For details, visit bit.ly/2BNVqBO.
City Commission Approves Sidewalk Repair Ordinance
The City Commission approved on second reading an ordinance that results in the City taking over the replacement and repair of sidewalks, except when the City Manager (or designee) determines that the abutting property owner has done something to damage the sidewalk (e.g. construction or illegal planting of trees). This ordinance removes the burden of maintenance, permitting, contractor selection, and inspections from abutting property owners and will ensure that sidewalks in public rights-of-way are treated similarly to potholes on a roadway and that repairs are made according to professional design and construction standards. For details, visit bit.ly/2O5qOP1.
Commission Sets Proposed Millage Rate for Fiscal Year 2021
The City Commission adopted a resolution acknowledging receipt of the City Manager’s budget message, Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, and setting the proposed millage rate for the FY 2021 Budget at 4.1193 per $1,000 of taxable value and the debt service rate at .2218 per $1,000 of taxable value. The Proposed Budget and Community Investment Plan documents can be found on the City’s website at: fortlauderdale.gov/budget. For details, visit bit.ly/3ebFOoT.
Commission Sets Public Hearing Dates for Proposed FY 2021 Budget
The City Commission approved Thursday, September 3, 2020, and Monday, September 14, 2020, as the public hearing dates to consider the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 millage rate and budget for the City of Fort Lauderdale and for the Sunrise Key Neighborhood Improvement District. The public hearings will take place at 5:01 p.m. or soon thereafter at City Hall, located at 100 North Andrews Avenue. For details, visit bit.ly/2O42ih2.
Public Hearing Date Set for Nuisance Abatement Assessment
The City Commission approved Monday, September 14, 2020 as the public hearing date for the proposed FY 2021 Non-Ad Valorem Assessment - Nuisance Abatement. The public hearing will take place at 5:01 p.m. at City Hall, located at 100 North Andrews Avenue. The public may provide input on a proposal to improve the City’s collection rate of funds expended to address nuisance properties by placing a special assessment on the property tax roll. The approach would require the owner of an identified nuisance property to pay the assessment along with the ad valorem tax bill in order to avoid the issuance of a tax certificate against the property and loss of title to the property. As a result, the City would be able to efficiently recover the public funds spent to remedy the nuisance property and continue to protect the neighborhood from blight. For details, visit bit.ly/38E4epQ.
Public Hearing Date Set for Fire Assessment Rate
The City Commission approved Monday, September 14, 2020 as the public hearing date for the proposed FY 2021 Non-Ad Valorem Fire Assessment Fee. The public hearing will take place at 5:01 p.m. at City Hall, located at 100 North Andrews Avenue. The Commission adopted a preliminary Fire Assessment Fee of $311 per single family residential dwelling for FY 2021, which is the same rate as last year, and represents full cost recovery of fire suppression services for FY 2021. For details, visit bit.ly/31YD1gk.
Public Hearing Date Set for Stormwater Assessment
The City Commission approved Monday, September 14, 2020 as the public hearing date for the proposed FY 2021 Non-Ad Valorem Assessment for Stormwater Program Management. The public hearing will take place at 5:01 p.m. at City Hall, located at 100 North Andrews Avenue. On June 16, 2020, the Commission approved an Ordinance on second reading establishing procedures and standards for levying assessments to fund the construction, reconstruction, repair, improvement, and extension of stormwater management systems within the City of Fort Lauderdale. The assessment methodology is based on equitably recovering costs in proportion to the benefit that each property receives from the stormwater system. The stormwater utility rate structure considers total square footage, trips generated by various property types, and the benefit that free, passable roads bring to each property. The hybrid rate methodology was presented to the Infrastructure Task Force and the Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations, both of which support the program. If approved, the Stormwater Program Management Assessment will be collected by Broward County’s Records, Taxes, and Treasury Division. For details, bit.ly/2Cj7bjw.
Next Virtual City Commission Meeting on August 18
The next virtual meeting of the City Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18 at 6 p.m. The public can listen to and view the virtual meeting on FLTV, YouTube, Zoom, Comcast Channel 78, and AT&T U-verse Channel 99. To learn more about virtual City Commission meetings, including how to view agendas and sign up to speak, visit fortlauderdale.gov/vcmeetings.
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