Hallandale Beach and the Corona Virus : Our City staff has taken measures to help our residents keep “CLEAN SAFE and INFORMED .” We all have heard so much about the virus and the information keeps coming. The basics are what is going to help everyone. Common sense should be key. 1- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds often. . Don’t just do a quick wash. If you cannot access hand gel a simple spray with 60% or more alcohol will work. 2- Cover your month when you cough or sneeze . Don’t use your hand use your arm so you will not spread the droplets. The droplets from a cough or sneeze can carry the virus for at a minimum 12 hours or more depending on the conditions. 3- While it is customary to shake hands kiss and hug it is better to fist bump elbow bump or simply air kiss. The safe distance from person for conversation is 3 – 6 feet. 4- If you have any one of the flu symptoms call your family doctor first. They will be able to ask you important questions about your symptoms and tell you how to proceed with treatment. Do not go to the hospital at first signs of a flu. 5- The regular flu is still out there . Get a flu shot. Even though there is not a vaccination for Corona you are more likely to catch a current flu. Flu shots will help ease the duration and intensity of a flu. Our city is taking all precautions to clean our facilities and parks . You may see our staff, especially those working directly with the public with gloves and taking other precautions. This is for not simply their safety but for yours. Our staff has been informed that if they are sick to stay home. If you are sick you should stay home. Seniors and individuals with weak immune system are the most vulnerable. Please vist www.cohb.org/corona Remember “CLEAN, SAFE and INFORMED” Our March 5 commission meeting was brief, but we started the important discussion of what projects may be in included the proposed Government Obligation Bond for citywide Infrastructure. We annually plan a 5 years capital improvement plan during the budget. Some projects are completed, and others take major funding and are spread over many years. For example, our parks may have been completed over 20 years but with the ability to bond they are almost complete. City infrastructure: water , sewer, drainage, sidewalks, lighting , resiliency plans to address sea level rise and city facilities; cost millions of dollars. A good example of one such project is our drainage project. The pumping system put in place on 14th Avenue and in the Southwest cost over 20 million dollars plus. We were able to do the project with federal dollars. If we did not receive those dollars that project would have not been completed when it was. . Currently that project needs to be expanded to address continued sea level rise. There are three ways to pay for infrastructure. Grants help but are not guaranteed. The above grant was only made possible due to staff and I lobbying FEMA in DC multiple times. It also took the interventions of Senator Nelson and Congresswoman Wasserman Shultz. Without their support it may not have even been possible. Cities can decide to do revenue bonds. These are based on current or increased fees. Our Main Fire Station was built with Fire Fees. These fees can only be used for equipment, facilities and capitol. They are not used for personnel. Our water plant was also built with revenue bonds. Revenue bonds can also be based on projected increases in advalorum revenues. Our budget projections typically use 5% for base increases. We know based on the Florida Save Our Homes Law increases on homestead properties are typically 3% and the other 2% accounts for commercial properties and sales. These bonds can be used but are the least desirable since we use general revenues for personnel costs. As I have written before GO Bonds are a separate tax that is placed on the tax roll. The Parks Bond is running 42 cents per 1000 of taxable value. On average a home with a taxable value of 300,000 the tax is 126 annually. That was for 54 million dollars. Just think what our city could do with 150 million GO Bond. At our meeting the staff showed us a 50,000-foot look at what could be in the bond. Their preliminary ask for the bond was 105 million dollars’ worth of project, but it does not include all that we need to address our ageing infrastructure. There are some worthwhile projects, but we must set our priorities. We will be conducting a special workshop with the commission and the CRA to take a deeper look into what projects will be included in the proposal . We have heard that a super majority of residents want sidewalks, lighting and better roadways. Since I was not involved in last two budget cycles it is important that I hear from you. As always, feel free to contact me anytime with your concerns questions and ideas to make our city better at firstname.lastname@example.org , c/t 954-632-6700. Remember early voting for our Presidential Primary is underway at our Community Cultural Center located behind our library in our City Hall complex 400 South Federal Highway.