Dog Park Groundbreaking Ceremony at Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park
Earlier this month, local officials broke ground on a dog park at Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park. The 1.4-acre dog park is being funded by Broward County, the City of Fort Lauderdale, and private contributions. Expected to be completed early next year, the park will include fenced-in areas for small and large dogs, a pavilion, benches, sand paths, agility equipment, waste stations, and water fountains for both dogs and people. Currently, the only city park that allows dogs off-leash is Snyder Park near Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, so the park will bring much-needed open space for dogs to play and roam free in Fort Lauderdale’s growing urban core.
Creation Station Business: Free Community Co-working Space for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
There is now a great resource for anyone looking to start or grow a business. The Broward County Main Library has just added a new co-working space for local entrepreneurs, which provides expert assistance for creating and growing a business. Creation Station Business is located on the 7th floor of the Main Library with floor-length windows overlooking downtown Fort Lauderdale, work stations and conference areas that can be reserved, and common areas where business-related workshops will be held. The Broward County Main Library is also home to the Creation Station, a collaborative work space and gadget lab with technical equipment like 3D printers and virtual reality software located on the first floor.
The Creation Station Business hours are the same as the Main Library operating hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10AM to 6PM and Tuesday and Wednesday from Noon to 8PM. For more information regarding the Creation Station Business or Creation Station please visit broward.org/library/creationstation or call 954-357-7444.
Receive a Discount When you Pay Your Property Tax before March 2017
You can receive a discount when you pay your 2016 property taxes early. Broward County property owners are eligible for a three percent discount applied in December; a two percent discount in January; and a one percent discount in February. Remember, property taxes must be paid no later than March 31, 2017 to avoid penalties and late fees. To view your bill and a list of payment options please visit broward.county-taxes.com or call 954-831-4000.
- Pay by December 31 and receive a 3 percent discount
- Pay by January 31 and receive a 2 percent discount
- Pay by February 28 and receive a 1 percent discount
All qualifying legal Florida residents are eligible for a Homestead Exemption on their homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and certain mobile home lots. In 2016, the basic homestead exemption saved a Broward homeowner anywhere from $627.99 to $1,053.22 (depending upon your city's millage rate) in annual tax savings for all homes with a value of $75,000 or higher.
You are entitled to a Homestead Exemption if, as of January 1st, you have made the property your permanent home or the permanent home of a person who is legally or naturally dependent on you. By law, January 1 of each year is the date on which permanent residence is determined.
You may file for your 2017 Homestead Exemption by one of the following options:
- File Online
- Visit the Property Appraisers Office located at 115 South Andrews Avenue, Room 111, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
- Stop by a Property Appraiser community outreach event
New Animal Care and Adoption Center is
The Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center has moved to a brand new location and facility. The new state-of-the-art shelter is an example of the compassion and commitment Broward County residents have for our four-legged friends. The complex was designed to enhance services for animals, educate the public about animal care and adoption, and find loving homes for our shelter dogs and cats.
The new facility is located at 2400 SW 42nd Street in Fort Lauderdale, 33312 and includes:
- Capacity for nearly 500 dogs and cats
- Air-conditioning throughout the entire building, including kennel areas
- A centralized cleaning and disinfection system
- Meet and greet pet interaction rooms
- Meeting rooms for support programs and outreach events
- A Special outdoor dog interaction area
For the holidays, you can adopt a dog or puppy for $25, and adoption fees are waived for cats and kittens through January 3rd, 2017. All adoptions include spaying/neutering, all necessary vaccinations, a Broward County Rabies Registration License tag and a microchip. For more information regarding the new Animal Care and Adoption Center and services please visit broward.org/Animal or call 954-359-1313.
Dubai? Havana? Barcelona? FLL adds more non-stop international destinations
South Florida travelers soon can fly non-stop to more international destinations from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Emirates launches non-stop service to Dubai December 15, with connections to 150 cities in 80 countries.
By the end of 2016, FLL will have 100 weekly departures to Cuba. Jetblue will start flying to Aruba in January, British Airways will offer flights to London next July, and Norwegian Air Shuttle begins flying to Barcelona next August.
This tremendous growth in international air travel from FLL has been made possible by $2.3 billion in upgrades to the airport. The expanded services are great news for our local economy and travelers. For a complete list of international destinations from FLL visit broward.org/Airport/Flights/Pages/InternationalDestinations.aspx.
Watch out for Manatees
With manatee season continuing through mid-March, boaters should take caution on South Florida waterways. As temperatures drop, these endangered marine mammals head to our warmer waters. Statewide, about 90 manatees have been killed by boats this year, including two in Broward County.
Manatees can be difficult to see as they often swim just below the water’s surface. To avoid harming manatees, boaters should obey speed limits, wear polarized sunglasses to help spot manatees in the water, and watch for the large, tell-tale circular slicks on the water’s surface that indicate the presence of manatees. To learn more about protecting manatees, including locations of seasonal boating speed limits, visit myfwc.com/manatee or call 954-519-1270.
Deadly Drugs Hitting Streets of South Florida
More than 800 people will die from heroin and opiate overdoses in South Florida this year, according to local Medical Examiners. The use of heroin, now often laced with more potent and dangerous drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil, spiked after the crackdown on pill mills. Carfentanil is powerful enough to sedate elephants that weigh over 6,000 pounds. "If you're buying heroin or cocaine, or any drug on the streets for that matter, it could be laced with carfentanil, and if it is there's a very high chance you will die," said Dr. Craig Mallak, Borward County’s Chief Medical Examiner.
These alarming statistics highlight the urgency of ensuring Broward residents have access to substance abuse treatment. Broward County will devote about $13.6 million in state and local funds this year for substance abuse treatment, and works with law enforcement and community organizations to tackle this problem. If you or a loved one needs help with addiction, please contact the Broward Addiction Recovery Center at 954-357-4880.
Opportunities to serve on a County Advisory Board and Committee
Broward County Advisory Boards and Committees give residents an opportunity to participate in county government by providing their input, expertise, experience, and guidance on a variety of issues affecting our community. We are always seeking volunteers who are interested in public service. You can review our current Board and Committee vacancies today.
If you would like to be considered for a board appointment, please submit the following to my County Commission Aide, Pratima Raju at firstname.lastname@example.org: detailed resume, permanent address, phone number, email address and the board or committee on which you would like to serve. Residents who serve provide their board and the County with valuable insights, and their contributions to the community are greatly appreciated.