CRA Annual Report
HALLANDALE BEACH - It is audit and report time once again. Every year, we conduct many audits and are required to file various financial reports for the city...
HALLANDALE BEACH - It is audit and report time once again. Every year, we conduct many audits and are required to file various financial reports for the city financials, pensions and also, our CRA. The city files a CAFR City’s Annual Financial Report. Every year, our Community Redevelopment Agency files an annual report that is filed with the state and all other agencies that contribute tax increment financing to the CRA. These agencies include: the city of Hallandale Beach, Broward County, the Children Service Council and the South Broward Hospital District.
These revenues are put into the CRA Trust to be utilized within the CRA to advance our strategic goals. The report keeps us in compliance with state statutes and updates other agencies. The most significant function of the annual report I believe, is to update residents on the CRA's activities, progress and financial status. The CRA TIF is to directly benefit the properties and individuals in the designated area.
The goal of our CRA remains to address slum and blighted conditions within the CRA boundaries. We continue to address these conditions through a multifaceted approach including building affordable housing, addressing code issues with existing housing and businesses, crime reduction and improving the infrastructure within the public realm. These are all part of the CRA plan.
These efforts are intended to increase property values and private investments in the CRA. Last year, there was over $10 million dollars in private investments in the CRA. This is a 300% increase over the previous years. As I stated in my State of the City Address we are all focused on results. The CRA has a 12 year life left and we need to remain focused on our goals to complete the infrastructure.
We held our strategic planning session a few months ago to fine tune our plans. We remain focused on leveraging public/private partnership to create in fill redevelopment and investment in our CRA, the CRA is moving forward with the Foster Gateway project that includes a mix of commercial, apartments and townhomes. We are also completing the second phase of in fill development. This year we built 8 Bronze Leed Certified homes and we are working on the next group of units.
The most exciting project is OB Johnson Park redevelopment. We completed BF James Park that was delivered under budget and on time. The park included a pool to replace the one that was removed from the neighborhood years ago. OB Johnson is being designed now and construction will begin in the fall. The city is coordinating the development so the Hepburn Center and our After School Programs can continue without interruption.
The CRA continues to partner with the city to address distressed and abandoned properties. This is done by either acquisition or partnership with the owners. We also work to rehab structures so long as the value does not exceed 50% of the replacement costs. We also provide Neighborhood Improvement Grants to address code deficiencies. In addition, there is a free paint program and shutter program. As part of our home ownership programs, we provide down payment assistance up to $50,000 to buyers. These programs help to stabilize the existing neighborhoods.
Our CRA is not only about bricks and mortar programs, it is about people. The Board of directors continue to support Non-Profit Partnership. These NPO's deliver much needed social services to needy residents. Included in this “hand up” approach, there are job training programs and healthy family programs that have continued to enhance the quality of life for many residents.
There is Progress happening here! The CRA has recently won a Smart Growth Award for our housing programs. Since the CRA inception in 1996, the CRA has increased the property values from $377 million to $1.0 billion over all.
Moving forward, we will be looking to leverage TIF to improve our public realm. We have invited a robust goal of “complete streets.” This long term goal will be discussed in order to leverage future revenues to make sure our neighborhood's have sidewalks, proper drainage, transportations, enhancements and lighting.
As always, please feel free to contact me any time with your questions/concerns and ideas on how to make our city a better place at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my cell/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or visit my web-site at: www.mayorjoycooper.com. If you are heading out of town and want to stay connected to our city issues you can sign up for my weekly update.