Commission Returns from Recess To Review Recommended Budget
Broward County Commissioners will return from their annual summer recess in early August to resume deliberations on the Fiscal Year 2009 budget. A final workshop on the budget will be conducted on August 19.
On July 15, Interim County Administrator Bertha Henry submitted a $3.5 billion balanced budget to Commissioners, as required by state law. Overall, the total budget increased by $37.1 million, the result of increases in the capital and debt service budgets.
The total operating budget is declining by $40.3 million due to a reduced general fund, primarily the result of declining property tax revenues and the impact of property tax reform, particularly Amendment One, approved by voters in January of this year. As submitted, the total countywide millage rate for operations and capital is 4.8889 mills, the same as Fiscal Year 2008.
After reviewing the proposed budget, County Commissioners will conduct public hearings on the new spending plan. Public testimony will be taken at both hearings. Public hearings have been scheduled for:
• September 9, 5:01 p.m., Governmental Center,
115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale
• September 23, 5:01 p.m., Governmental Center,
115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
If the proposed spending plan is approved by County Commissioners, the average single family taxpayer with a homestead exemption would save approximately $96 on the county portion of their tax bill. The average non-homesteaded residential property owner will likely see a $90 decrease.
Early Voting Locations Open August 11 for Primary Election
Early voting locations will open on August 11 and close on August 24 for the Primary Election, scheduled for Tuesday, August 26. The hours of operation for the early voting locations are: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and, on Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Early locations include:
• Coconut Creek: North Regional Library/BCC,
1100 Coconut Creek Blvd.
• Coral Springs: Northwest Regional Library,
3151 University Drive
• Davie/Cooper City: Davie/Cooper City Library,
4600 S.W. 82 Ave., Davie
• Deerfield Beach: North Regional Courthouse,
1600 W. Hillsboro Blvd, Rm. 170
• Fort Lauderdale: African-American Research Library, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd.; Fort Lauderdale Branch Library/ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Rm. 130; Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave.
• Hallandale Beach: Hallandale Beach City Hall,
400 S. Federal Hwy.
• Hollywood: Hollywood Library,
2600 Hollywood Blvd.
• Lauderhill: Supervisor of Elections at Lauderhill Mall,
1501 N.W. 40 Ave.
• Miramar: City Hall, 2300 Civic Center Place
• Parkland: Parkland Library, 6600 N. University Drive
• Pembroke Pines: Southwest Regional Library,
16835 Sheridan St.
• Plantation: West Regional Library,
8601 W. Broward Blvd.
• Pompano Beach: Pompano Beach Library,
1213 E. Atlantic Blvd.
• Tamarac: Tamarac Library,
8701 W. Commercial Blvd.
• Weston: Weston Library,
4205 Bonaventure Blvd.
On Primary Election Day, Tuesday, August 26, polling locations will be open in all precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters will be voting on the new DS 200 optical scan voting machines. With the new system of voting, voters will be asked to present a picture identification card (with signature) when preparing to vote. Voters will be given a paper ballot and a pen provided at the polling location.
New Library Hours
Effective August 1
Broward County libraries will begin new hours of operation on Friday, August 1. Service hours at many locations have been reduced or adjusted to reflect anticipated budget reductions for Fiscal Year 2009, which begins October 1, 2008. The new hours of operation were approved by the Board of County Commissioners in June. Signage notifying customers of the change in hours has been posted at all library locations. For a list of library locations and new hours of operation, visit www.broward.org/library or call the Broward County Call Center, 954-831-4000 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.).
Water Management District To Rule on Water Restrictions
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) continues the rule development process for expanding year-round landscape irrigation measures across the agency’s 16-county region, which includes Broward County. The proposed rule limits landscape irrigation to two days per week, year round.
Workshops have been held throughout the district and the SFWMD Governing Board is expected to make a final decision on August 14. Originally, the governing board was expected to make a decision in June, but the board has requested additional economic data on how restrictions would affect businesses. If approved, district-wide implementation is anticipated this fall after a subsequent review by the state and possible subsequent public workshops. Additional information is available on the district’s website, www.sfwmd.gov.
Public Hearing Scheduled On Surveillance Cameras
The County Commission has scheduled a public hearing on requiring businesses in Broward County to provide, operate and maintain video security surveillance systems in parking lots surrounding stores. In addition to cameras, the proposed ordinance would require adequate lighting, as specified, in parking lots. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 12, 2 p.m., Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
Public Transit Workshop Scheduled for August 14
Broward County Transit (BCT) will host the second of two public workshops to solicit public input on a multi-year Transportation Development Plant (TDP) on Thursday, August 14, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Broward County Lauderhill Towne Center Library, 6399 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Lauderhill (accessible by TCT Route 72).
The workshop will provide guidance on the capital and operating priorities for public transit for 2009 through 2018. Transportation officials are seeking public comment on two questions: What are three major public transportation issues in our region? What should be done now and in the future to improve public transportation?
Sign-up for Free Subscription To Hurricane Updates
To keep informed on impending storms, residents are strongly encouraged to subscribe to Broward County’s free Hurricane Update E-mail System. The system provides residents with important information from the Broward County Emergency Operations Center before, during and after a hurricane. E-mail notifications will be sent to subscribers with news about hurricane watches and warnings, evacuation orders, recommended protective actions and related public safety issues. To subscribe, visit www.broward.org/hurricane and click on the Hurricane Update E-mail System box.
Library Offers Amplified Phones For Hearing Impaired at No Cost
IYou can borrow more than a book, tape or CD at the Broward County Library. Each month a selection of freely loaned, specialized phones will be available to Florida residents (age 3 years and older) at several Broward County libraries. Some of the phones amplify and clarify on the receiving end; others help a person with speech disabilities to talk louder and sound clearer through a specialized mouthpiece. There are also phones that can send or receive text messages as part of the Florida Telecommunications Relay service.
These phones are distributed by the League for the Hard of Hearing, a United Way-affiliated human services and rehabilitation agency. For more information on this program, call the League for the Hard of Hearing at 954-731-7200 or visit their web site at www.lhh.org. For future schedules, see the Bookings magazine, available at branch libraries, or visit the library online at www.broward.org/library.
Applications Being Accepted For Master Gardener Program
Broward County Extension Education Section, Parks and Recreation Division, and the University of Florida-Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, are accepting applications for the next session of the Master Gardener program. The program is designed to teach residents about “Florida–friendly” landscaping, including water and soil conservation, integrated pest management and landscape design. Students will learn how to create a backyard wildlife habitat, how to identify invasive species, tropical fruit culture and vegetable gardening.
The course consists of 102 hours of intensive training, including lectures, labs, and field trips. Students will receive course handouts, books, identification decks, and other diagnostic tools. The course will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, starting on September 17 and ending on December 17.
The purpose of Master Gardener training program is to provide qualified volunteers to assist county residents in resolving their landscaping, integrated pest management and water and soil conservation questions. Applications are available at www.broward.org/extension/hrmg. For additional information, call 954-370-3725.
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Community Update, a monthly newsletter from the Board of County Commissioners, is produced by the Office of Public Communications. Address questions concerning articles to 954-357-6990. To receive Community Update electronically, send an email to email@example.com. Please include your first and last name and email address. Hearing impaired residents can call the TTY line at 954-831-3940 for additional information.
For additional information, please contact the Office of Public Communications
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