Case Closed!

As we start a new decade there are many plans in the works for our infrastructure. For years I have been writing about real time traffic signalization and how this new technology would finally improve our traffic flow on Hallandale Beach Boulevard. The time has finally arrived. Or should I say the timing has finally arrived. Last election Broward County placed a Transportation Penny Tax once more on the ballot and it passed. The first attempt failed due to the proposal being split between the county and cities. Many cities had other infrastructure goals for their half of the penny. Some wanted parks , new public service buildings , drainage, public safety projects, etc. This took the focus away from roads and transit. The voters did not want an open fund without plans in places. They wanted our transportation problems fixed. I supported both penny proposals since we had already done our homework and were ready to focus on our own city roads and support the need robust transit system. All these projects cost money. Infrastructure is very costly and without a large funding source many projects are put on the shelf. Regretfully this “ kicking the can down that road” catches up with cities and counties. Large scale projects cannot be done. A great example is our GO Parks Bond which I will cover later. Signalization has been worked on and tinkered with over the years but only at the boxes. The Go Lights Projects we to synchronize lights. Many people think the new cameras placed on top of the lights are for red light cameras. They are to trigger message to the computer box that traffic is there and the central hub can monitor it. The county transit center can always watch the intersection and adjust the timing. This system only allows for changing synchronization manually from the center but only last for 24 hours then it resets itself. Real time means just that. Depending on the level of traffic at the intersection the signal will change. The traffic center will still be monitoring changes. This won’t eliminate the rush hour but will help things move faster. The system will also be set up to provide preemption for buses and emergency vehicles. This has obvious life safety benefits on Hallandale Beach Boulevard. This project is happening and hopefully will be completed in the next year and half. The other project that will happen is the full replacement of our minibuses. We will have the first fully electric minibus system in Broward and maybe the state. There are other projects on our list that will be prioritized by the Metropolitan Planning Organizing . The MPO is charged with countywide transportation planning. Hallandale Beach is over 90 years old. We have built a new city hall, police department , new water plant and two new Fire stations over the past 20 years. These projects were funded through what are called revenue bonds. These bonds are based on what projected revenue is coming from fire fees water fees and some cases projected long term sale tax revenue. This means that rates were specifically increased for these projects but not your property millage tax rate. Other than the fire fee these fees are set annually but are not listed as a debt on your property tax . Thanks to you, our voters, we were able to pass a 54-million-dollar bond to redevelop all our parks and add to existing locations. The bond was projected on the high end to ensure you as a voter had all the information you needed to make an informed decision. Our presentations stated 85 cents per 1,000 of taxable property value. In the end due to our financial stability, bond rating and the bond market it is costing a little over 40 cents. You will find this listed separately on you tax bill. Within the next year the parks will be done. The bond can only be used for the specific projects you voted for. It is referred to a “lock box” . When the first penny was proposed our city was very excited that we could also fund our infrastructure costs. Since it failed, we now must look at new funding source. Last meeting the commission approved laying the groundwork to propose an infrastructure bond to be placed on the November ballot. Some of this work began 4 years ago. We complete a Basis of Design Report BODR. The BODR included the rehabilitation and replacement of our infrastructure . It projected the costs work on our aging streets , sidewalk replacement and addition, underground water work systems. The estimate cost is well over 175 million. We could never accomplish this with out bonding. That is why cities are granted the financing tool of government obligation bonds. Even though we have the tool the ability to acquire the debt is up to our citizenry thru ballot. Soon we will be holding commission workshops and be out in the community updating our residents on the various opportunities for your neighborhoods. We need your input and your support to help in securing our future. I truly look forward to working with the commission and you on this critical project. As always, I am available anytime to answer your questions and concerns at office #954-457-1318, on my cell/text 954-632-5700 or email at jcooper@cohb.org.


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MAYOR JOY COOPER

-HALLANDALE BEACH -

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301 Holiday Dr.

Hallandale Beach, FL 33009​

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Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
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