Sunday, February 17, 2013
ANNUAL RETREAT COVERS MANY TOPICS OF INTEREST
On January 31, the City Commission held its Annual Retreat, and the following is a quick summary of many of the topics covered:
1) Discussion on waiving the requirement of the City Commission and County Commission to mediate an upcoming lawsuit concerning the Annexed Areas and the failure of the County to turn over the County Assets due to the annexation. Specifically the fire station and the water & sewer system. The Commission waived the requirement if the County Commission will as well. If so, then the city will file a lawsuit over the matter against the county.
2) Safe Neighborhood Districts. The City is working with its lobbyist in Tallahassee to advance a bill through the legislature to allow Safe Neighborhood Districts to finance improvements by issuing a bond. So far the bill is being looked at favorably, but a lot of work is still needed.
3) Staff will be working with residents in re-establishing a travelling soccer program, and to make improvements to the existing soccer program.
4) Staff will be reviewing and making a recommendation on whether the city should join into the Go Solar Challenge which 14 cities have already agreed to be a part of. The intent is to streamline the process of permitting and inspection in the installation of Solar Systems on roofs, plus the county will pay permitting fees.
5) The Commission agreed to expand the Interest Free Energy Loans by increasing the amount of the loans to residents up to $2500, extending the loans to Commercial Properties up to $4000 (allowing a loan over $3000 to be paid back over 3 years), and including programmable thermostats for A/C's and water heaters.
6) Staff reported that they had received 2 bids on the Car Charging Request for Proposals sent out. The intent is to provide electric car charging stations on public property at no cost to the city. Staff has not reviewed the bids yet and will report back on recommendations.
7) Commissioners agreed to create Community Gardens and have asked staff to find available land and grants to fund the project.
8) The Police Chief gave a report on crime in the city, specifically burglary. In 2012 we have actually had a decrease in crime throughout the city, however certain hot spots have occurred that are being addressed. The Chief has created special details to deal with the situation which are starting to have positive results. Also, that it is being planned to have police chiefs, elected officials and city attorneys to meeting with our judges to discuss the issues involving juveniles who are doing much of these crime.
9. It was requested to have the Police Chief to see if retired certified police officers could be SRO's in elementary schools without expense to the city. Funding may come from the School Board, and it will place SRO's in schools that would otherwise have no officers.
10. The City is looking into creating a Gun Buy Back Program.
11. The Commission considered the creation of Single Member Commission Districts. The conclusion was to leave it to the upcoming Charter Review Board process which begins in a few years.
12. A request to fund in the next budget year the city's share of the State Road 7 Collaborative, which was agreed to.
13. The City will look into the creation of a Youth Advisory Council.
14. The City Staff advised the City Commission that the lawsuit between the Lauderhill Housing Authority and HUD has been settled. The next step is for the LHA to obtain a voucher and then deal with other Housing Authorities to retrieve voucher they may hold for property in Lauderhill.
15. Staff advised that we are waiting for the hearing this month to have a judge decide if we can consider a bidder on the project that was rejected by the county. The bidder filed a protest and the court must decide if the county was correct in rejecting the bidder.
16. A discussion was held on the Regional Fire Rescue Service 911 System. A report was issued to Broward County recommending its creation and the county to fund it pursuant to the 2002 Charter Referendum vote.
17. A report was given on the expenditure of NSP funds and housing development by the Lauderhill Housing Authority.