Dear Broward County Residents,
I am honored to serve as your County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities each day from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from Broward County.
2016 Presidential Advocacy Award from the Florida Association of Counties
As your Broward County Commissioner, a priority of mine has always been to advocate for the needs of our community. In my efforts for Broward County, the most effective way to move our legislative priorities forward has been to head to Tallahassee to fight for our community at our State Capitol. This year it was an honor to be the recipient of the Presidential Advocacy Award from the Florida Association of Counties for my efforts in advocating for two very important state funding sources.
This year, we have been able to secure increased state funding for beach renourishment and key Port Everglades projects. The result was an increase from $25 million to $37 million for beach renourishment projects and an increase from $15 million to $25 million for the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development (FSTED) program. While these efforts have been productive, there is still so much more we need to do. I will continue to advocate for the needs of Broward County and its residents.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs in Broward County
The Board of Broward County Commissioners recently approved a county-wide property assessed clean energy (PACE) program that will allow property owners to receive up-front financing and repayment of debt for a variety of energy related home improvements. Homeowners and businesses now have an opportunity to obtain financing for solar panels and other energy saving updates, as well as important hurricane resistant upgrades like impact windows and doors. This financing method will allow people to make these types of improvements that otherwise would be very expensive, without impacting their credit scores.
This program includes several provisions that enhance consumer protections. These provisions include PACE-funded improvements, which must be properly permitted and installed by licensed contractors, and they must meet applicable federal, state, and local energy, wind, and building code standards.
For more information on the PACE program please visit Broward.org/NaturalResources or call 954-519-1265.
Port Everglades Update
There are many exciting new things happening at Broward County’s Port Everglades: partnership agreements are being made to continue the port’s environmental stewardship, pilot programs are being created, luxury ships are returning, new cargo ships are being welcomed, and agreements for existing cargo ships are being renewed. Port Everglades is in the heart of one of the world's largest consumer regions, including a constant flow of approximately 110 million visitors statewide and 6 million residents within an 80-mile radius. With all of this exciting news, it is great to see that Port Everglades will continue to handle future growth in all areas.
Port Everglades has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study air emissions. The Port already meets environmental standards for air quality and this agreement will take the port’s commitment to environmental stewardship to another level. As part of the partnership agreement, the port is providing a baseline emissions inventory for EPA's analysis. A consulting group will collect the data needed to generate a 2015 emission inventory for the port. The partnership will allow the EPA to develop future methods, provide lessons learned, and provide practical examples to be shared with other ports, related agencies and stakeholders to support and encourage sustainable development. The port is truly an example of good stewardship.
In cruise related news, Port Everglades will be the first U.S. cruise port to test and launch Automated Passport Control Kiosks and Mobile Passport Control Kiosks that are designed to help facilitate and expedite secure entry into the United States after a cruise vacation. Broward County's Port Everglades and its cruise line partners, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, are working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to launch these two pilot programs this summer. The Port is also welcoming the return of Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line. Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony will sail a total of eight sailings to and from Port Everglades beginning October 27, 2017.
In cargo related news, Port Everglades welcomed Nordana’s newly built cargo ship M/V Frijsenborg, a 179.46 meter long cargo ship with gross tonnage of 21,970 that is equipped with modern air emission control scrubbers that can handle heavy lift, yachts, rolling stock and containerized cargoes. The Port also renewed a long-term agreement with Crowley Liner Services. The new 10-year, $157.8 million lease and operating agreement with the Broward County Board of County Commissioners is for a 99-acre marine terminal. This agreement also includes two five-year extension options. Under the terms of the new lease, Crowley's estimated annual regional economic impact, based on the projected level of activity by lease year six, will support 1,208 direct jobs, produce $209.5 million in personal income, yield $306 million in business services revenues, generate $103 million in local purchases and deliver approximately $19.5 million in state and local taxes over the term of the agreement. For more information on Port Everglades, please visit PortEverglades.net.
Library Hours Expanded
Several Broward County Libraries will have expanded service hours starting this summer. In District 4, the Deerfield Beach Percy White and Imperial Point Branches will now be open to the public 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. The Library Division’s new service model features increased hours of library operation within the system’s existing budget. It is directly related to a key initiative of the Library Division’s Long Range Plan to create service delivery models that reflect current trends.
These expanded hours give residents more access to the library system’s many resources and services such as free public-computers, events, literacy and computer classes, children's programs and more. Other libraries in Broward County with expanded hours are the Fort Lauderdale Branch Library that is now open five days a week instead of two. The Century Plaza/Leon Slatin, Lauderhill Towne Centre, Pompano Beach, Riverland and Sunrise Dan Pearl branch libraries will all now be open six days. In the coming months, Broward County Libraries will offer expanded library hours at more locations under the new service model. These new hours are reflected on the Library’s website at Broward.org/Library.
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. Subscribe to E-news and social media sites and 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.