• VIDEO & E-News: This Week in Palm Beach - July 13, 2018
  • Council Approves $13.8 Million Rec Center in a 3-1 Vote
  • Town Council Coverage by the Civic Association
  • West Palm Announces Drinking Water Quality Report
  • 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Now Expected to Be Less Active

 

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VIDEO & E-News: This Week in Palm Beach - July 13, 2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. July 13, 2018 edition.
UPDATE: Town Phone/Internet Lines Back in Service
The Town of Palm Beach has experienced a major communication outage, which is affecting Town phones and email. Staff is actively working with our internet service provider to resolve this temporary outage. 911 services are still operable but the non-emergency line is down.
Council Approves $13.8 Million Rec Center in a 3-1 Vote
By Michele Dargan, Special for the Civic Association  --  After four hours of sometimes contentious discussion, the Town Council on Tuesday awarded the construction contract for the new recreation center to Hedrick Brothers by a 3-1 vote.
Town Council Coverage by the Civic Association
The Civic Association's feature writer Michele Dargan was at the Town Council this week.  Here's her summary of the major news.
Tropical Wave Beryl Not Reforming - Hurricane Chris Gone
Hurricane Beryl is the first hurricane of the season. It fizzled into a tropical wave and has a 20% chance of reforming into a tropical cyclone later this week.
West Palm Announces Drinking Water Quality Report
The Town of Palm Beach purchases all of our water from the City of West Palm Beach.  On Sunday, West Palm Jeri Muoio announced the latest Annual Water Quality Report* in the WPB Insider Newsletter.
This Week in Palm Beach - July 6, 2018
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. July 6, 2018 edition. Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter
2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Now Expected to Be Less Active
Colorado State University's Updated July Outlook: The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is increasingly expected to be less active than average, according to an updated seasonal outlook released by Colorado State University.
Top Stories
VIDEO & E-News: This Week in Palm Beach - July 13, 2018
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 13 July 2018 11:10

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. July 13, 2018 edition.

ThisWeekInPalmBeach20180713 600AwClick Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox,  CLICK HERE

Public Safety
UPDATE: Town Phone/Internet Lines Back in Service
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 13 July 2018 08:04

The Town of Palm Beach has experienced a major communication outage, which is affecting Town phones and email. Staff is actively working with our internet service provider to resolve this temporary outage. 911 services are still operable but the non-emergency line is down.

A main ATT Line was accidentaly cut at Royal Palm Way and Cocoanut Row.  The town, residences, and businesses are impacted.

Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar and Charles Kapachinski, the town’s IT director, with town police and an AT&T representative, were on the scene at Royal Palm Way where the accidental cut happened. They estimated at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday that the problem could take 24 hours to repair.

The Town's website and alert system is still working.

Latest Info (Town of Palm Beach)

Top Stories
Council Approves $13.8 Million Rec Center in a 3-1 Vote
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 12 July 2018 13:24

By Michele Dargan, Special for the Civic Association  --  After four hours of sometimes contentious discussion, the Town Council on Tuesday awarded the construction contract for the new recreation center to Hedrick Brothers by a 3-1 vote.

The guaranteed maximum price for work performed by Hedrick Brothers Construction is $11.6 million with the overall project budget being $13.8 million.

Councilwoman Julie Araskog cast the dissenting vote. Council President Danielle Moore, Councilwoman Maggie Zeidman and Councilwoman Bobbie Lindsay voted in favor.

Councilman Lew Crampton recused himself from voting because he is president of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and Dale Hedrick, founder and president of Hedrick Brothers Construction, is on the board.

“Dale has nothing to do with my compensation,” Mr. Crampton said. “I’m confident I can vote on this without any bias. However, out of an abundance of caution, I’m going to recuse myself from this vote.”

The new Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center will be funded by a private/public partnership with the Morton and Barbara Mandel Foundation, the Friends of Recreation and the town. They will split the total cost three ways, each paying $4.6 million.

The council ratified the amended Friends of Recreation (FOR) agreement to reflect their portion as being $4.6 million.

Michael Ainslie, vice-chairman of FOR, said the group has raised $4.6 million from more than 100 families in town. They have $2.6 million in cash and $1.8 million in pledges. Donations range from $750,000 to $1,000 per person or organization.

Mr. Ainslie noted that, if passed, the project would be two-thirds funded by private donations of $9.2 million, making it an historic day.

“Palm Beach will be the envy of towns across America, seeing its citizens so committed to its future well-being,” Mr. Ainslie said. “To raise $4.6 million before a shovel has turned is stunning.”

At last month’s council meeting, Ms. Araskog said she wasn’t comfortable approving the project without having all the pledges from FOR on hand or having some type of legal assurance that would secure the pledges.

Mr. Ainslie said they will have all of the $4.6 million in their account at Northern Trust Bank by Wednesday, because they have borrowed the money up front for the donor pledges. The interest per month on that loan is about $8,000 to $9,000 a month, he said.

“We thank you and should give you extra credit for what you’ve done for this project,” Mr. Crampton said.

Mr. Ainslie thanked a list of people and businesses who have helped FOR along the way, including FOR Chairman Matthew Smith and the Mandels.

“Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar outlined the scope of work that Hedrick Brothers will perform, including: the demolition and reconstruction of the recreation center, the multi-purpose field, the playground, the outdoor basketball court, the elimination of the tennis pavilion structure, a new playground pavilion structure, a new tennis hitting wall, an entry arch and renovations to the tennis pro shop and maintenance storage building.”

The project would increase the building footprint from 11,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet, Mr. Boodheshwar said.

“Our guaranteed price includes everything,” Mr. Hedrick said. “If we don’t spend the money, you get it back.”

Over the course of the four-hour meeting, Ms. Araskog voiced concerns that included the size and scope of the project and that the council hasn’t worked as well with the residents as it could have. She was also concerned about the project coming up for approval during the summer months when many residents are gone and that the plans are not going to ARCOM before getting approval from the Town Council.

Paul Castro, zoning administrator, said that – ultimately – the Town Council has the final decision.

Ms. Araskog also wanted to receive confirmation that the full amount of $4.6 million was FOR’s bank account on Wednesday.

Mayor Gail Coniglio pointed out that the reason the project has been delayed for a year is because of a lawsuit filed against the town by people who were against the project.

“We’re here today because of the year delay of the litigation,” Mayor Coniglio said. “It has cost this project $96,000 in litigation cost, plus an additional 20 percent more in construction costs, based on the fact that construction costs have gone up.”

Mayor Coniglio said that the funding distribution for each of the three parties went from $3.7 million to $4.6 million because of the delay in construction and cost increases. If the council had not approved this project, then the town would have been obligated to pay back the up-front cost given by the donors, which totaled $1 million, and the town would have gotten nothing in return.  

Four residents spoke against the project. Concerns included the fact that the demographic of Palm Beach is older and much of the project is geared toward children and that the project is too large.

Resident Peggy Moore said she thinks the project is too big. She said the tennis is important, but the project doesn’t need the game room, the pro shop, or the snack shop.

“We just want things done in good taste,” she said. “We don’t glitter it up. … We have fewer children here than five years ago. West Palm Beach is for the younger. Let them have the rec center there.”

Mayor Coniglio said, “We need to keep the town vital for the future. To me, it’s important we improve our cultural and recreational opportunities for families. We have donors who are deep in the community. I think the Friends of Recreation has done a phenomenal job.”

 

Top Stories
Town Council Coverage by the Civic Association
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 12 July 2018 11:22

The Civic Association's feature writer Michele Dargan was at the Town Council this week.  Here's her summary of the major news.

Mayor’s Recognition of the $25 Million in Federal Money for Midtown Beach Restoration 

Mayor Gail Coniglio recognized the $25 million in federal money that the town will receive for the restoration of Midtown Beach. The town was notified last week that the money had been approved.

She thanked Gov. Rick Scott for his guidance in helping her navigate the channels that helped secure the funding.
Mayor Coniglio said that she and Coastal Coordinator Rob Weber made two trips to Washington, D. C. to meet with Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson and Congresswoman Lois Frankel. They were instrumental in helping to facilitate this, she said.

She also said Gov. Scott was instrumental in helping the town receive $4 million for the repair and replacement of the jettys that flank each side of the inlet.

Noah Valenstein, secretary of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, attended Tuesday’s council meeting.

“On behalf of Gov. Scott, thank you back to each of you,” he said. “Together we work together to achieve things for the environment so that you can have the community you envision 50 or 100 years down the road.”

Town Employee Compensation & Benefit Study Approved

The Town Council unanimously approved an updated scope of services and evaluation criteria, which will be used to develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire a consultant to complete a comprehensive Compensation and Benefits Study. The study will compare the Town of Palm Beach compensation package to what other area municipality and county governments are paying all of their employees, including police, fire, and general government employees.

Update on Royal Poinciana Playhouse and Restaurant

Alexandra Patterson of Up Markets told the Town Council they have signed a letter of intent and are negotiating a lease with an operator to run the restaurant in the Royal Poinciana Playhouse.

Ms. Patterson said they have also had positive conversations with three potential operators and 20 potential partnerships to run the theater, which will be cultural arts venue. The playhouse has been closed since 2004.

Up Markets will not go forward with the restaurant and will not name the restaurant operator until they have a lease agreement with an operator to run the theater, she said.

“We see this building serving the Palm Beach community and beyond,” she said. “It will be a flexible cultural arts venue with art, film, live theater ted talks, comedy shows, jazz nights, musical performances, ballet, opera … a wide variety that keeps the doors open and the lights on for 365 days a year.”

Councilman Lew Crampton said, “I think the Town Council needs more specifics in order to come in on the side of this project more robustly. Clearly that may be the nicest spot in town for a restaurant, but that needs to proceed in tandem with the solution for the theater.”

 

Hurricane
Tropical Wave Beryl Not Reforming - Hurricane Chris Gone
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 12 July 2018 08:07

Hurricane Beryl is the first hurricane of the season. It fizzled into a tropical wave and has a 20% chance of reforming into a tropical cyclone later this week.

 Tropical Weather Outlook - NWS National Hurricane Center

 

 

Top Stories
West Palm Announces Drinking Water Quality Report
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Monday, 09 July 2018 14:07

The Town of Palm Beach purchases all of our water from the City of West Palm Beach.  On Sunday, West Palm Jeri Muoio announced the latest Annual Water Quality Report* in the WPB Insider Newsletter.

From Mayor Jeri Muoio:

The City of West Palm Beach is pleased to present the latest Annual Water Quality Report.* It contains important information about your drinking water.

I’m proud to report that in 2017 the City of West Palm Beach had no water related health or safety issues.

This report shows our water quality results and what they mean. Our drinking water continues to receive high marks from monitoring agencies. In fact, our drinking water was recognized as being one of the best tasting drinking water in Palm Beach and Broward Counties by the American Water Works Association in 2017.

More information can be obtained from the EPA at the Safe Drinking Water Hotline by calling (800) 426-4791.

The City of West Palm Beach continues to move forward with the construction of the ultraviolet disinfection and powdered activated carbon treatment systems at the Water Treatment Plant that will provide safer and even better tasting water.

I invite you to carefully read the next few pages. They provide information on the high quality of our drinking water. For public participation, bi-weekly City Commission meetings are held in the City Hall Commission Chamber on Mondays beginning at 5:00 pm at 401 Clematis St. West Palm Beach.

Thank you for being a valued customer. If you have any questions call (561) 822-2222.

Jeri Muoio
Mayor
City of West Palm Beach

Click Here to See the Report (PDF)

*Note: The report was published in May 2018 and announced by West Palm Mayor Muoio on July 8.

 

This Week in Palm Beach
This Week in Palm Beach - July 6, 2018
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Friday, 06 July 2018 16:34

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. July 6, 2018 edition.

Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

midtown beachTo subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Now Expected to Be Less Active
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Tuesday, 03 July 2018 11:26

Colorado State University's Updated July Outlook: The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is increasingly expected to be less active than average, according to an updated seasonal outlook released by Colorado State University.

Including May's Subtropical Storm Alberto, 11 named storms, four hurricanes and only one major hurricane of Category 3 or higher intensity are expected this season in CSU's latest outlook released Monday.

This is a significant reduction from its May 31 outlook, which had called for 14 total named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

Read More (Weather Channel)

 

Fewer Hurricanes, Lower Chance of U.S. Landfall, Forecasters Say — But Not Zero

Hurricane forecasters have lowered their projections for the 2018 season, saying they expect fewer hurricanes to form, and dropping the probability that a major hurricane will make landfall along the U.S. coastline or in the Caribbean.

The Colorado State University team said Tuesday it is predicting 11 named storms, of at least tropical storm strength, with four becoming hurricanes and just one becoming a major, of Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, with top sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

The team's start-of-season forecast on May 31 had called for 14, six and two, respectively. The historical average is 12, 6½, and two.

The team also set at 39 percent the chance at least one major hurricane will strike somewhere on the U.S. coast, and a 22 percent chance of a strike some somewhere on the U.S. east coast, including the Florida peninsula. The May 31 figures had been 51 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

 


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