Dear Broward County Residents, I am honored to serve as a County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale. Here are some recent highlights from Broward County.
Commissioners Propose Laws for Transportation Network Companies
Broward County Commissioners considered new guidelines for Transportation Network Companies (TNC) such as Uber and Lyft. They listened to comments from more than one Hundred people at a public meeting on Tuesday, August 11th before reaching a tentative agreement on a proposal. The proposed legislation under consideration would require background checks that meet county standards, but could be processed through the County or a third party without fingerprinting. TNCs would be required to provide blanket insurance coverage that complies with state law and the County will audit and inspect TNC records to ensure full compliance with the proposed ordinance. TNC operations at Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades will also need to be addressed. Commissioners agreed that possible changes made to the current TNC ordinance will apply to taxis as well as for hire transportation services in Broward County. The newly drafted legislation is expected to come back to the Commission for discussion and review in September.
New Florida East Coast Railway Intermodal Facility at Port Everglades
Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) is celebrating its first-year anniversary operating its new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) adjacent to Port Everglades with a 26 percent increase in volume. In a model public-private partnership, the FECR built the ICTF on 43 acres provided by Broward County's Port Everglades. Prior to the opening of this facility, containers were transported by truck to and from Port Everglades to off-port rail terminals in Fort Lauderdale and Hialeah. FECR's direct connection to the nation's Class 1 rail network allows for service to 70 percent of the U.S. population within four days. This results in more domestic containers moving north as loads, instead of empty, and increasing the efficiency of the intermodal network. The ICTF will reduce congestion on interstate highways and local roadways because loading and offloading cargo will take place at the Port as opposed to offsite facilities. As a result, air emissions will be reduced by diverting an estimated 180,000 trucks from the roads by 2027.
New Facial Recognition Technology App Will Help Find Lost Pets
Broward's Animal Care and Adoption and the Humane Society of Broward County have joined forces with the Finding Rover mobile app company to bring free, real-time facial recognition technology to pet owners throughout the County to identify a dog or help find their lost dog.
The app features a special, easy-to-use lost and found notification system. If a dog is found, the finder can upload its picture. Once the photo is recognized through Finding Rover's facial recognition software, the finder will receive information on how to contact the pet's owner. As part of the effort, both Animal Care and the Humane Society will automatically upload and integrate information from their database into the Finding Rover system, and every dog that leaves either shelter will already be pre-registered in the Finding Rover database. Once adopted, the new pet owner can download the app and register with Finding Rover and their pets' information will conveniently be transferred to their new account. The Finding Rover app can be downloaded on any Apple or Android device. It can also be accessed at FindingRover.com.
Third Annual Go SOLAR Fest Set for October
The Third Annual Go SOLAR & Renewable Energy Fest will be held in October at the Broward County Convention Center. Go SOLAR Florida will sponsor this FREE event, which includes free parking, to educate businesses and residents on solar and renewable energy. The Fest will run from 10AM-6PM Friday, October 9th, and from 10AM-4PM Saturday, October 10th. This year, the exhibit hall will be on the ground floor of the convention center, which will enable alternative fueled vehicles, vans, and trailers to be inside with other exhibitors.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Go SOLAR - Florida team a $1.6 million SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II competitive award to make it easier for Floridians to obtain grid-tied solar installations. Its purpose is to increase the use of solar energy and access among the state's residents and businesses over the next two and a half years. The Go SOLAR Florida team is a partnership of Florida counties, cities, the Florida Solar Energy Center and Florida Atlantic University representing approximately 4 million Floridians. For more information on the partnership, visit the Go SOLAR website.
Broward County's FLL International Airport Named "Airport of the Year"
The Air Line Pilots Association International honored Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) as 2014-15 Airport of the Year. The award recognizes FLL's outstanding commitment to engaging with airline pilots during construction of the new South Runway. The elevated runway is part of the airport's improvement program to reduce delays and meet future growth. JetBlue pilots flew the first plane to land on the new 8,000-foot elevated South Runway. The new runway lies on the south side of the airport and runs parallel to an existing 9,000-foot runway. It is built on a bridge-like structure on its eastern end to allow U.S. Route 1 and a freight railway line to pass under it.
FLL is ranked 21st in the United States in total passenger traffic with about 24.6 million passengers traveling through the airport annually. With more than 300 departure and 300 arrival flights a day, the airport offers nonstop service to more than 100 U.S. cities as well as international destinations.is ranked 21st in the United States in total passenger traffic with about 24.6 million passengers traveling through the airport annually. With more than 300 departure and 300 arrival flights a day, the airport offers nonstop service to more than 100 U.S. cities as well as international destinations.
August is National Water Quality Month
With current extreme drought conditions in parts of Broward County, practice these tips to protect Broward's natural resource. Best management tips to protect our water include:
- Walk dogs away from water bodies and remember to pick up after them.
- Don't use a hose to clean your driveway; use a broom.
- Inspect your irrigation system regularly for breaks and misaligned sprinkler heads to reduce run-off onto paved areas and overall use of water.
- Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater to water your plants.
- Your toilet and sinks are not wastebaskets. Don't flush medications or other trash down the drain.
- Storm drains are for water, nothing else. Please dispose of chemicals according to manufacturer directions. If you don't know where to dispose of them properly, contact your local Public Works Department.
- Plant trees! Trees catch rainwater, reducing the amount of water that runs off buildings and roads. Storm water runoff is a major source of pollution in urban areas. Trees such as Bald Cypress and the Florida Red Maple are also great for those wet spots in your yard.
- Volunteer at local water clean-up events or start your own. Broward County participates in the annual International Coastal Cleanup, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy. The Cleanup takes place in over 104 countries around the world and is typically on the 3rd Saturday of September. The 30th Annual Coastal Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 9AM until noon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for this year's cleanup event.
The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can stay connected by subscribing to E-news and social media sites. Sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at email@example.com.
As always, it is my honor to serve you. Have a wonderful summer with family and friends.