Town of Palm Beach Shores

Mayor's July Town Update II

July 26, 2017

Hi Everyone,

 


There is so much going on in Town this month that I’m sending out a second Town Update.  The photo was taken in the Beach Mall of our new Singer Island Post Office.  It isn’t scheduled to open until August but this is a reassuring step forward! 

 

 

National Parks Senior Pass Price Increase

 
As a public service, I thought I’d tell you that effective August 28, the price of a Lifetime Senior Pass to the National Park System is going up from $10 to $80.  This pass gives you free admission for life to over 2,000 Federal Recreation sites across the nation.  You must be a US Citizen/Permanent Resident and be at least 62 years old to qualify.  Go to https://store.usgs.gov for information on how to get your pass. 
 

Commission Seat Opening

 
Pat O’Hara has resigned her seat on the Town Commission.  We thank Pat for her good work on behalf of the Town and her efforts to bring us grants to underwrite Town projects.  Pat has agreed to continue working on grant opportunities for us. 
 
The Commission will be appointing a replacement at the August 21 Commission meeting.  Let Evyonne know if you are willing to serve our Town in this capacity and can commit to our meeting schedule (3rd Monday of the month).  The term of office is through March, 2019.  Send a cover letter and your qualifications by Wednesday, August 16 to Evyonne for inclusion in the Commission package. 
 

Planning & Zoning Seat Opening

 
We need to add a second alternate to the Planning & Zoning Board.  We have had to cancel their meetings two months in a row because we don’t have a quorum.  If you are here this summer, willing to serve your community and are able to attend on the evening of the 4th Tuesday of every month, please let Evyonne know by Wednesday, August 16. 
 
Canceling these important meetings is not fair to the residents who are trying to get their building projects completed.  In response, we have called a special meeting of the P&Z on Tuesday, August 1 at 7 PM. 
 

Staff Update

 
Congratulations to our wonderful Town Engineer, Rob Rennenbaum of Simmons & White, on the recognition of his excellent work by the Florida Engineering Society.  They have named Rob their 2017 State Engineer of the Year.  We are so lucky to have Rob and Simmons & White working with us. 
 
We have hired our third Firefighter/Paramedic, Dmitriy Dinovitser.  Dmitriy was a Captain in our Volunteer Department.  I will tell you more about him in my next newsletter.  We are still searching for our fourth hire.  We have very stringent requirements and because we are not bending them, it is taking us a little while to find the right folks.  This is a big step for the Town and we want to make sure we do it correctly. 
 

Vacation Rentals Policy

 
We want to remind our single family homeowners in Zone A that the Town has strict limitations on renting your home.  Everyone renting property must purchase a Business Tax License annually from the Town.  In addition, in Zone A, you may only rent your home three (3) times a year and for no less than 30 days each time.  The penalty for violations can be as high as $5,000 per occurrence. 
 
Our Code Official and Police are working hard to enforce this policy because short term rentals often are disruptive to neighborhoods.  Visitors often don’t care that their midnight pool party is keeping their neighbors awake.  We can all understand the occasional event but recurring noise issues hurt our quality of life.  Even if they are quiet, it can be unnerving to have new people next door every week. 
 
If you have visitors, remind them to be considerate of your neighbors so they won’t have the pleasure of a visit from our Police Officers. 
 

2018 Property Tax Rate

 
The Town Commission has agreed to hold our millage rate at the current level of 6.35 for next year.  This took some juggling and creativity to find a way to include our new firefighter/paramedics in the budget without raising taxes but we made it work. 
 
We’re still discussing the details of projects for next year.  I’ll tell you more when we have it finalized in September. 
 

Generous Donation

 
The Town has been the recipient of a very generous bequest from the estate of Richard and Maris Fanning.  The Fannings were residents of Mayan North/The Atrium.  They left $262,500 to the Town in their will to be used for Police and Fire Emergency Public Safety.  The Commission is using $62,500 of the bequest next year to purchase two new Police vehicles.  The balance of $200,000 is being put in savings towards a new fire truck in 2020. 
 
We are very grateful that the Fannings remembered our “Best Little Town” in their will.  We will find an appropriate way to acknowledge their generosity. 
 

Community Center Rental Pricing

 
After months of discussions and deliberations, the Commission has finalized new pricing and policies for Community Center rentals. 
 
The first change is that the Town has contracted with a cleaning service. They will take over event setup, cleaning and changeover between events.  This will allow us to have more than one large event on a weekend. 
 
Up until now, Public Works only had one staff member on duty on the weekends.  If, for example, there was a big wedding on Friday night, it was impossible for one man to clean and set up for another big party on Saturday.  Our new cleaning service will bring in a crew and should be able to turn the place over in a couple of hours.  This will allow you, our residents, increased access to the facility. 
 
Second, the civic groups (Seasiders, POA, Ladies’ Auxiliary) will continue to be able to use the facility rent free.  We will ask them to contribute to the cleaning service costs for their big weekend events such as the Charity Bazaar, Pancake Breakfast and Chowder Taste. 
 
Third, the basic rates for resident rentals will not change.  It will still be $400 for upstairs and $50 for downstairs.  There are some new charges however. 

  • Events of over 50 people and all beach events will need to obtain a special event permit. 
  • All events will be charged a cleaning service fee.  We are charging residents what the cleaners charge us, no more. 
  • There will be a small charge for renting the beach for an event.
  • Memorial services (in the CC and on the beach) for Town residents will only be charged the cleaning fee. 

 
In addition, the Fire Marshall has set a limit of 140 attendees including service staff.  We have developed a number of approved, standard room setups.  Alternate configurations are possible but must be approved by the Fire Marshall. 
 
Last, we are also allowing our service providers (Islander Grill, Café Chardonnay, Hugo’s and C’est Si Bon) to rent the facility for non-resident events when not in use by residents.  We have raised their ancillary fees.  They will also be charged the new fees for the cleaning service, event permits and beach rentals. 
 
The Commission believes that this pricing schedule accomplishes our goals:

  • Keep the facility rentals affordable for residents
  • Increase scheduling opportunities for residents
  • Support our civic groups
  • Facilitate memorial services for Town residents
  • More control over beach events
  • Free up Public Works staff for other responsibilities
  • Meet Fire Marshall requirements
  • Offset some operating expenses

The new pricing goes into effect immediately. 
 

Waste RFP

 
The Town received two bids for our waste RFP from Waste Management (our current provider) and Waste Pro.  In accordance with the RFP guidelines, a panel consisting of Town Attorney Keith Davis, Town Clerk Evyonne Browning and Public Works Director Alan Welch scored the two submissions.  The panel unanimously agreed to recommend Waste Management’s proposal to the Town Commission. 
 
Waste Management gave the Town a number of different service and pricing proposals to consider.  These will be discussed at the Monday August 21 Commission meeting.  The Commission will be looking to find the right level of service while staying within the Town’s proposed budget.  All residents are invited to join our discussion and decision making process. 
 

Mark Your Calendars

 
August 1: Planning & Zoning Special Meeting
August 2: DRC
August 7: 2018 Budget Workshop
August 11: PBA Collective Bargaining
August 16: Code Magistrate
August 21: Budget Workshop, Commission Meeting 
August 22: Planning & Zoning
August 25: Myra goes on vacation
 
That’s it for now.  Keep cool wherever you are.
Your Mayor,
Myra


 

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