The LaMarca Letter

 November 2015

​Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as a Broward County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale. Here are some of the most recent highlights from Broward County.
 
Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing that your Thanksgiving is blessed with the bounties of the season and the love and warmth of your family and friends.

Beach Renourishment Project Slated for Broward Beaches

There are approximately 24 miles of sandy beaches along Broward County’s coastline.  Broward County’s beach management program was initiated in the 1970’s.  To date, over 10 million cubic yards of sand have been placed on our beaches.  Maintaining our beaches is vital due to the fact that they protect over $4 billion in upland infrastructure, provide critical habitat to nesting sea turtles and other marine life and provide recreational space for tourists and residents. As beaches are an integral component of the County, it is our goal to maintain healthy, pristine, and wide beaches for tourists, residents, and marine life as our beaches have a $6.6 billion in direct and indirect fiscal impacts.
 
The next planned renourishment event is the Segment II Shore Protection Project, which is located along Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Pompano Beach, and Fort Lauderdale Beaches.  The purpose of the Segment II renourishment project is to reconstruct areas of eroded beach and increase storm protection to the upland development along portions of the shoreline. The project will place approximately 750,000 cubic yards of sand along 4.9 miles of shoreline along two reaches of shoreline between Hillsboro Inlet and Port Everglades and construct a small dune will also be constructed along sections of the beach.  Sand for the project will be obtained from permitted upland sand mines located in central Florida and the sand will be trucked from the upland mine to Broward County and ultimately placed on the beach. 
Broward County has currently received a low, responsive and responsible bid from a contractor and construction is anticipated to commence shortly.  After many years of dedicated work by our staff and many advocates, Broward County has received permits to construct the project from both the State and Federal resource agencies and has currently received the final greenlight by obtaining the Project Participation Agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers. The project is highly supported and applauded by local governments and environmental stakeholders.

Port Everglades Update

The Port Everglades Deepening & Widening Project is moving to the Preconstruction Engineering & Design (PED) phase. In order to move forward, it is necessary to complete all required engineering and planning before actual commencement of construction and dredging. With the issuance of the Port’s Chief of Engineers’ Report in July, the PED phase should take approximately 18-24 months with construction commencing in 2017. County staff and their advocacy team have worked to ensure the appropriate financial agreements are in place between the County and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Current efforts are also aimed at ensuring that work completed by Port staff or its consultants are appropriately credited towards the County’s cost obligations for the overall project.

2015 Property Tax Bills Are in the Mail - Taxes Due Beginning November 1st –

More than 500,000 property tax bills for 2015 will be arriving in property owners' mailboxes soon.  Property taxes must be paid no later than March 31, 2016 to avoid penalties and delinquency fees, but may be paid as early as November 1, 2015 to take advantage of discounts. A four percent discount applies to taxes paid in November; a three percent discount applies in December; a two percent discount in January; and a one percent discount in February.  The amount shown on tax bills includes the applicable early-payment discount. Property owners without mortgages, or those who do not make use of an escrow arrangement, may pay their taxes in a variety of ways. Visit broward.county-taxes.com

Water Conservation Pays

Broward County and 18 water utility and municipal partners launched the Conservation Pays program to better support our communities and lead in meeting our shared water conservation goals.  Through this program, many Broward residents have enjoyed rebates for high efficiency toilets and free water saving fixtures, including showerheads and faucet aerators. Our residents have been great partners, taking advantage of this program to replace more than 7,600 toilets with high-efficiency models, driving down water bills and maximizing water savings. The goal is to save water, money, and the environment, and to sustain the quality of life and community we all enjoy.  So far, close to 500 rebates have been issued and replaced with High Efficiency Toilets (HET’s) in District 4 from the Conservation Pays rebate program. If you have not yet taken advantage of the Program, see if you are eligible and join your neighbors. You’ll find that the immediate savings are impressive, but the long-term savings are infinite. Not only do you get $100 back for replacing an old toilet with a new HET, but you’ll save money each month on your water bill. Commercial and multifamily properties, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and business owners are encouraged to apply for rebates. Other water saving devices, including showerheads, faucet aerators, and pre-rinse spray valves for commercial kitchens are also available for FREE in participating areas. To see if your community is participating, visit www.ConservationPays.com. Or, call 1-800-270-9794 for more information.

Broward Starts Construction on New FPL Solar Installation

  -Solar canopy to generate clean power and showcase the benefits of renewable energy-

The future for solar energy is getting even brighter in Broward as construction began today on a new solar installation located at Young At Art Museum and Broward County Library. An interactive display linked to the solar canopy inside the museum will educate visitors on the benefits of renewable energy.

The project is an innovative partnership between Broward County and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL).  It is the first solar installation to be built through the FPL SolarNow™ Program, a voluntary-community based solar pilot partnership program designed to bring more solar into local communities. Broward County was the first to sign a partnership agreement with FPL earlier this year. The solar canopy and interactive display inside Young At Art Museum is expected to be fully functional early next year.

LEED Silver Certification for Maintenance Facility at Broward County's FLL

Broward County Aviation Department's new Maintenance Facility has earned the LEED® Silver Certification. The facility opened in February 2015 and it is located at Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The U.S. Green Building Council determined the project achieved 54 points resulting in a Silver Certification level under the New Construction Rating System. The LEED® building is projected to have a 23 percent reduction of electrical use, 35 percent reduction of water use over conventional buildings, and a reduction of operational cost by $30,000 per year.

Broward County Offers New Program for Aspiring and Early Stage Entrepreneurs

Make your business idea a reality! Just because you are an entrepreneur doesn't mean you have to figure everything out on your own. Our free workshop offered in partnership with the Innovation Hub @ Broward College, FastTrac® NewVenture™ can put you on the path to success.  With the guidance of successful entrepreneurs and a supportive peer community, FastTrac® NewVenture™ will help you refine your business concept, identify the components of a strong business plan, and access the appropriate resources to complete your launch. The benefits of FastTrac® NewVenture™ will last you long after the workshop has ended and into your role as a start-up business owner.
A NewVenture™ Information Session will provide an overview of the program to prospective participants on Thursday, December 3, 6 to 7 p.m., Innovation Hub @ Broward College Cypress Creek Administrative Center, 6400 NW 6th Way, Fort Lauderdale. To attend the Information Session Register Today!
NewVenture™ is free and open to Broward County residents. Interested participants will need to apply online at http://oesbd.affiliate.fasttrac.org/ during the application period from December 7 - 18 for this competitive process. Please be sure to submit a complete application. Space is limited to 15 participants. New Venture™ courses for accepted applicants ONLY will be held at the Innovation Hub @ Broward College January 7, 2016 through March 31, 2016 from 6 to 9 PM on the following Thursdays: January 7, 14, 21 • February 4, 11, 18, 25 • March 3, 10, 17, 31.
Upon completion of NewVenture™, participants' completed business plans will be evaluated and seed money may be distributed to the top three business plans.  All students will receive a bonus prize at the end of the course. For more information on the Kauffman FastTrac® program, contact the Office of Economic and Small Business Development at 954-357-6400, Visit our website. Individuals requiring accommodations in order to participate in a workshop must make a request at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled workshop.

Manatee Season Begins November 15th: Boaters advised to honor protection zones

November 15th marks the beginning of manatee season. As air and water temperatures drop, manatees begin moving south toward warm water refuges, and seasonal speed limits go into effect. Broward County's Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division (EPCRD) cautions boaters to be on the lookout for greater numbers of manatees moving into the County's waterways. Boaters should be aware that many seasonal manatee protection zones go into effect on November 15th in Broward and throughout the state. For information about manatee protection zones by County, including the seasonal changes and speed zones, visit MyFWC.com/Manatee, and select "Data and Maps." If you see a sick, injured, or dead manatee, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Wildlife Alert Number at (888) 404-FWCC (3922), *FWC or # FWC on a cell phone or with a text to tip@myfwc.com.

Contact Us

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 subscribe 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 clamarca@broward.org
 
As always, it is my honor to serve you. 
 

Contact Us:
Main Office
Broward County Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Ave.,
Room 410
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone:
954-357-7004
Fax:
954-357-7798

Commissioner:
Chip LaMarca

Commission
Assistant:

Mabel Hurtado

Administrative Coordinator:
Mary Pryde


Broward County Commission Meetings
The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.


Phone: 954-357-7004 • Fax: 954-357-7798 • clamarca@broward.org
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 410, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301
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