The Palm Beach Town Council met Monday and Tuesday of this week. Here's a summary of the results.
1. Adopted a 2008-2009 general fund budget of $67,335,600 reflecting an increase of 4.7 % over 2007-2008 ($64,332,559). The millage rate for 2008-2009 will be 3.2512 verses 3.3637 in 2007-2008; a decrease of 3.3%. These figures are within the guidelines established by the Florida State Legislature and therefore no vote to exceed the budget cap was necessary.
2. Closed Phipps Ocean Park for safety reasons due to major erosion.
3. Abandoned a proposal to create a separate board to hear variance requests.
4. Decided to use additional lobbying services to help the Town with beach renourishment issues and fight inlet expansion.
5. Elected Eugene Lawrence and Floyd Wideman as regular members of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
6. Voted (3-2) not to change the Town's conflict of interest procedures for residents who work in Town and serve on Town commissions.
7. Discussed recommendations on the Royal Poinciana Way Area Study from the Landmarks Commission, the Architectural Commission, and the Planning and Zoning Commission. Endorsed extending the bicycle path, upgrading Bradley Park, and enhancing the entranceway to Palm Beach. Placed "on hold" a proposal to rewrite the zoning regulations and comprehensive plan for the area.
8. Agreed to hire a new coastal coordinator and several coastal consultants by November 1, and appoint members to a new Shore Protection Board in December 2008.
9. Discussed the possibility of suing the Army Corps of Engineers for damages from beach erosion cause by the Lake Worth Inlet. Considered spending $200,000 for a study on the feasibility of proceeding with litigation. Scheduled additional discussion at a future meeting.
10. Decided to hold a joint meeting at a future date with the Town of Palm Beach Shores and Port of Palm Beach officials to discuss plans for Port growth, inlet expansion, and the creation of an inland port.
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Palm Beach Civic Association