Dear Broward County Residents,
I am honored to serve as your County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:
Fort Lauderdale International Airport Update
Recently, as part of Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) current bond issuance (Broward County, Florida Airport System Revenue Bonds Series 2017), several Broward County officials, along with members of the bond team, gave presentations and provided additional pertinent County and Airport information to the three rating agencies (Moody’s, S&P, Fitch). Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an A1 rating to Broward County’s FLL Airport enterprise’s $325 million Airport System Revenue Bonds. Concurrently, Moody’s affirmed the A1 rating on the enterprise’s outstanding parity debt, and stated the outlook is stable. S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'A+' long-term rating to Broward County for $325.4 million Series 2017 Airport System Revenue Bonds issued for FLL. At the same time, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'A+' underlying rating on the County's Airport System Revenue Bonds outstanding, while also confirming the outlook is stable. Additionally, Fitch Ratings has upgraded approximately $1.3 billion of outstanding Broward County Airport System Revenue Bonds issued on behalf of FLL to 'A+' from 'A', and is revising the Rating Outlook to Stable from Positive. This is great news for the long term financial stability of our airport and continued value for our FLL customers.
In other airport news, FLL is among the first airports in the nation to implement pioneering technology that is expected to direct aircraft more efficiently and safely to and from airport gates. The new $2.5 million system will assist in reducing delays that the airport can control. Virtual Ramp Control is the first solution of its kind, was introduced in June 2017, and has been fully operational for the past few months. Specially trained operators work inside a dedicated room where they coordinate and monitor the movement of aircraft arriving and departing FLL with a virtual camera-based system. The camera system is integrated with specially developed software to manage more than 700 flights each day at FLL. Officials from other airports are interested in the system and have come to Broward County to see how it works. For more information please visit Broward.org/airport.
Broward County’s Port Everglades Update
Broward County’s Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 4 can now tend larger cruise ships, as long as 1,100 feet without extending into the Intracoastal Waterway. The $18-million Slip 2 construction project, adjacent to the recently renovated Cruise Terminal 4, lengthened the slip by 225 feet from the original 900 feet. The total 1,125-foot slip length meets the needs of most of today's modern cruise ships.
Port Everglades is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government that does not rely on local tax dollars for operation. Therefore, no local taxes were used for the Slip 2 extension project. The total value of economic activity related to Port Everglades is nearly $30 billion. Each cruise ship call at Port Everglades generates an estimated $2.2 million in business revenue for the local community. We are very proud to be an industry and statewide leader.
Broward Hosts Climate Leadership Summit
The 9th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit will be held on December 14th and 15th at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. The annual summit is coordinated by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, a partnership between Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach counties, their municipalities and other partners. The Climate Leadership Summit is a major regional event focused on facilitating climate-related collaboration and knowledge sharing. The summit attracts innovative thinkers and leaders from business, government, academia and the non-profit community to exchange ideas and dialogue at panel discussions and networking breaks. This year’s summit focuses on “The Business of Resilience” and will engage the community through critical discussions on adaptation, climate and energy solutions, and resilience. I will be a panelist for one of the opening sessions on “Flood and Risk Management.” For more information please visit Broward.org/NaturalResources.
Property Tax Bills in Mail and Online
The 2017 Broward County property tax bills have been mailed to residents and payments must be made no later than March 31, 2018 to avoid delinquency interest, fees, and penalties. Early-payment discounts for payments made in full are as follows: a 4-percent discount if paid in November; a 3-percent discount applies in December; a 2-percent discount in January; and a 1-percent discount in February. The discounted amounts that apply to each month between November and February are already reflected on property tax bill coupons. These discounts apply only to full tax payments. Making a partial payment of property taxes forfeits any applicable discount otherwise available for full tax payments. For more information, call 954-831-4000 or visit broward.org/RecordsTaxesTreasury. Payments can be made online at Broward.county-taxes.com.
Taking Care of Our Veterans
Broward County is home to approximately 127,000 veterans and dependents and last year, our Veterans Services Officers helped advocate for 1,400 of them, resulting in $11 million in approved claims. Veterans themselves, Broward’s Veterans Services Officers help those who have served our country, and their dependents, navigate the Veterans Administration System. They assist with acquiring disability compensation, pension benefits, home care services, and other aid, also including for dependent survivors. If you are a veteran or know a veteran who could benefit from these services, visit Broward.org/HumanServices and select ELDERLY & VETERANS, or call 954-357-6622.
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 eNews and social media sites. Please 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.