Singer Island, Florida: articles and other feature stories from around our community:
Recycling – a Gift to Future Generations
by County Vice Mayor Hal Valeche
There are many ways we can give to others. Whether it is volunteering time with a non-profit organization, donating to causes that help people in need, supporting our veterans, or simply spending an hour with a senior citizen who lives alone, your efforts enhance the quality of life in our community. One gift we can make to help protect our environment for future generations is recycling.
The county’s Solid Waste Authority (SWA) has been leading the way for more than 25 years in providing convenient and efficient services that preserve our natural resources. Their programs rely on your participation, and while you are probably very aware of what goes in your yellow and blue bins, you may not be as familiar with what everyday items are considered household hazardous waste and their proper recycling methods. This includes a variety of products such as computers, electronics, batteries, cell phone batteries, gas cans, propane tanks, pesticides, fluorescent bulbs, flares, thermometers, used cooking oil, and paint.
The Home Chemical and Recycling Centers (HCRC) located at SWA’s Transfer Stations and Jog Road Campus are one-stop drop-off sites for both home chemicals and regular recyclable items. In North County, there is an unattended HCRC at 14185 Military Trail (SWA Road) in Jupiter. The center at 6161 N. Jog Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33412 is attended.
This disposal service is for Palm Beach County residents only and there is no cost for normal quantities for home chemicals, which are limited at the un-staffed sites to 125 pounds or 15 gallons. Larger amounts can be accepted at the staffed facilities on Jog Road.
A complete list of materials accepted can be found at https://fl-swa.civicplus.com/174/Hazardous-Products-in-Your-Home.
Additionally, many big box stores and larger retail chains accept certain materials like rechargeable batteries, used oil, cell phones and electronics; and, of course, there are numerous local organizations that will gladly accept your donations of usable clothing and accessories, appliances, toys and furniture.
If we all take steps to further our recycling efforts, we can reduce the amount of waste that must be placed in landfills for disposal, while being environmentally and fiscally responsible.
I wish you good health and prosperity in 2016, and as always, if there is any way I can assist you, please contact me at (561)355-2201 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More High-Tech Jobs on the Horizon
By: Commissioner Hal R. Valeche
The Board of County Commissioners is committed to attracting new industries to continue diversifying the local economy, and I am pleased to inform you of an exciting new economic development project planned in our community.
United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a Fortune 50 firm and world leader in aviation, aerospace, and high-technology systems and solutions - better known locally through its companies Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky Aircraft - is enlarging its footprint in Northern Palm Beach County.
Just last month, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced UTC’s plans to invest $115 million to construct a new headquarters for its Building and Industrial Systems division on 30 acres within the Briger tract, which is located along the south side of Donald Ross Road, just east of I-95.
The new 250,000-square-foot “UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings” is to serve as a worldwide showcase for new building technologies including innovations in security, heating, refrigeration, ventilation and elevators to promote safer, smarter and sustainable buildings. The creation of 380 full-time jobs is planned within six years at an average wage of $85,000. According to an analysis conducted by the county, the project is estimated to have a five-year economic impact of $662 million.
United Technologies’ presence in the county has spanned over 50 years, and since 2012, UTC has also undertaken large expansions in its engine testing and aviation manufacturing operations, with a combined capital investment of more than $98 million. These expansion projects will generate more than 350 additional full-time jobs during the next eight years.
Palm Beach County has come a long way from a mainly tourism and agriculture economy. Companies have recognized the benefits of doing business in this community and appreciate the county’s commitment to build a diverse and sustainable economy. Along with a favorable tax structure, we also enjoy unparalleled amenities that contribute to a high quality of life. As more industries make their home here, we increase opportunities for our residents to gain employment at competitive salaries in a variety of fields.
If I can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (561) 355-2201 or by email at email@example.com.
Sober Homes, Rehabs and related stories about businesses on and around Singer Island:
An interesting CBS TV channel 12 report from Jonathan Beaton on the proliferation of Sober Homes - CBS12 - thank you Jonathan and CBS 12 for shining a light on this issue!
Here is an interesting report posted on ripoffreport.com from what appears to be a recent visitor to our Isand ...and their (alleged) complaint about a Singer Island rehab business: American Addiction..Singer Island Fear Insomnia Misrepresentation Lack of any kind of - from Ripoff Report - American Addiction...Singer Island Complaint Review: American Addiction..Singer Island Fear Insomnia Misrepresentation Lack of any kind of respect. (Here is another report from 2013) - American Addiction Center AKA Singer Island Facility Abruptly closing of out patient facility West Palm Beach Florida
[ RipOffReport.com is a great place for these types of complaints. If you are reading this and have had similar experiences - I recommend using it. If you are a local or visitor that has had a good OR bad experience with a local business or municipality (of any kind: hotel, restaurant, rehab, sober home, etc) on Singer Island ...please email me the info and I will post it on SIP'news for discussion in the hopes that we can all learn about our wonderful commUNITY. ]
City of Riviera Beach Resources, Budget Allocations ...and how they are spread across the 4 Districts of Riviera Beach (4/14/2015):
I've lived on Singer Island as a resident of Riviera Beach for 16 years. I've heard and seen a lot of finger pointing. I'm a big fan of this area and I thinks it's important to get some real numbers and perspectives on the table. Maybe that might help in avoiding finger pointing and possibly help us all work together to be sure the entire city moves forward in the right direction (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness).
I can share that I've met a lot of people from every corner of this city over the years and I can't think of one that hasn't voiced their concern over the future of our area. I'm going to start diving into the City of Riviera Beach to take a close look at where & how money comes in, and then where it is spent, just for fun.
While the city lists a population between 34,000 and 50,000+ (in various reports and printed literature). The Fitch Rating company is using 32,000 water and utility accounts within the city limits in their current bond ratings; so let's use 34,000 as a baseline.
We know the city (according to the United States Census Bureau), has a total area of 9.8 square miles (25 km2). 8.3 square miles (21 km2) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of it (15.33%) is water. The City is divided into 4 districts (view map) and 4 elected district council members. There is a 5th at large district with a 5th elected council person, and also a ceremonial mayor's position. Each city council person and mayor get an annual stipend of $19,000/yr, along with an assistant and other benefits that total roughly $100,000 per year, per council member (and mayor) this is approximately $500,000 per year for the board (see numbers below). Interestingly enough, those most or all of these council members also sit on the CRA district and Utility district boards, so I'll dig into what any further compensation and benefits might be for those areas. I'm told this is completely legal but I personally feel this creates an immediate conflict of interest (but that's probably just me being silly and overly protective for my city's best interests).
Singer Island (technically a small peninsula) is approximately 7 miles long and is divided by 4 municipalities including Palm Beach Shores, Riviera Beach, The Village of North Palm Beach and Lost Tree Village. The City of Riviera Beach City portion of Singer Island is District 4 and represents a small slice of the peninsula yet residents and businesses within District 4 on Singer Island contribute somewhere between 42% and 52% of the entire annual operating budget of the City. I've also heard that Singer Island contributes 45% of property tax revenue (if you look below working from budget numbers ...that's a huge variance - with approx. 49mil year total budgeted for the 2013/2014 general fund ...and $27mil in property tax revenue - that's either in the 12.5 mil or 23 mil range). If someone can verify an actual percent, please send it in, so I can adjust and/or provide verifiable numbers/links in this.
I think it'd be wonderful to overlay the percent of tax revenue for each of the 4 districts by district on an infographic. It'd be very interesting to look at average revenue by district (per person) and total spend per person (by district). If anyone can send me any or all of those numbers, please do so and they will be included here!!
In terms of City Resource Allocations (who gets what, where, why, how and when?), let's start with a big one and over the next several weeks we can dig deep into this. Let's begin by looking at the layout of the parks/facilities across the city (there is a very nice map below). Let's look at what the costs are, the revenues (if any) and then get a baseline.
Per the city website, there are 15 parks and recreation facilities in this wonderful little city of 34,000 people spread across just 8.3 square miles.
I count 15 parks, 1 on Singer Island (it's important to note that Phil Foster Park and Ocean Reef on Singer Island, are Palm Beach County parks. (Further note: they have each recently been protected by City of Riviera Beach Police resources. But is the city being fully reimbursed by the county for costs spent by these patrols and/or any associated overtime costs?)
Here is the break down of 15 City Parks/Facilities in our 8 to 9.8 Square Miles
Lone Pine Park
Canterbury off Military Trail
Timber Pine Park
Street, west of Avenue "Z"
Lane off Congress Avenue
Avenue "S" and Blue Heron Blvd.
Lindsey Davis Sr.
Street and Avenue "R"
Street and Avenue "S"
"Tate" Recreation Complex
Avenue "O", north of MLK Blvd.
Street and Avenue "M"
Street and Avenue "P"
George Street Park
Street and Avenue "H"
Heron Blvd. and Avenue "H"
Ben Flint Park
Street and Avenue "H"
Jerry Schultz Park
Street and Avenue "F"
Street and Avenue "C"
Then there are also these facilities:
The Riviera Beach Marina (part of the CRA district and is leased for private development, a $22,000,000 tax bond was recently raised/borrowed by the City, with a large part of that going to street infrastructure repair for the Marina area).
Riviera Beach Public Library - a wonderful but often overlooked resource for the people of our city.
Riviera Beach Ocean Mall (leased for development but the property was foreclosed on a few years ago and is limbo, with only a few business still in operation.)
Various City Buildings (at the main city complex, a big one on the west side of town yet to be built out, and a few others)
Then there is also the CRA District, the Utility District, and we do have a Port that is interconnected in some ways, and later we can dive into the schools and other community boards/resources and related entities all within 8.3 square city miles.
But first, more coming very soon on the costs to build, maintain and staff each of these 15 Parks & Recs resources ...along with revenues that any might bring in, so we can have very clear numbers to review on a map of where these resources are allocated and who uses them. If anyone out there has these number or has time to help me bring them together, please let me know.
I think it would also be super interesting to overlay the tax paying residents and revenues (by district) in comparison to these expenditures. If anyone has those numbers, please let me know!! I'm sure they are all available by FOIA requests.
5.12.2015 - Here are some budget projections for the 2013/2014 fiscal year: http://www.rivierabch.com/filestorage/305/8815/CRB_TENTATIVE_BUDGET_FY_2013-2014.pdf
These were the budgeted numbers, next up we can take a dive into the actual numbers spent.
A few key points/snippets from this document:
Here's a flow chart of the City operations: Parks fall under "Leisure Services" - (See list above of what and where those resources are located):
Here are the budget projections
for revenue and spend for our wonderful little community of 34,000
Before we dive into the yearly spend on "Parks" ..Here are the budgeted yearly costs to the City for the City Council, Mayor AND their assistants (these were prior to voting in added stipends for health care which I believe took these numbers up $10+K per district (yearly!) in our city of only 34,000 residents.
So here are the 2013/2014 (budgeted) yearly costs for the parks (or those that are listed on the budget):
So these were the projected 2013/2014 budget numbers, for our 8 square miles and 34,000 residents.
Palm Beach International Boat Show Report April 6, 2015 :
Thank You to our new Palm Beach County Inspector General John A. Carey, helping communities in our area move forward in a positive and efficient way...
from the Palm Beach County Office of Inspector General
John A. Carey
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