At the March 9, 2021, Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board took the following action:
COVID-19 – received a report on local COVID-19 mitigation efforts from Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Dept. of Health-Palm Beach County, Emergency Management Director Mary Blakeney, and Darcy Davis, CEO of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County. The daily lab positivity rate stands at 5.84% and has been dropping steadily. Dr. Alonso cautioned against complacency by the public, which could lead to another spike. The county is averaging around 400 new COVID cases per day and remains in Phase 1 of vaccine distribution. To date, 66 percent of Palm Beach County residents age 65+ have been vaccinated. Persons age 60+ will be eligible beginning on March 15.
EMS – adopted an amendment to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Ordinance allowing certain government agencies to provide limited inter-facility transfer services, which are termed secondary services. The Health Care District of Palm Beach County (HCD) is developing its own hospital-based emergency medical system to provide inter-facility transports of HCD patients to specialized treatment centers and other facilities. This amendment will allow such services with conditions when a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) has been obtained from the county and a license from the state.
Lynn University – approved issuance of an industrial development revenue bond in an amount not to exceed $45 million for Provident Group – LU Properties LLC to finance design, construction, equipping and furnishing of a student housing dormitory at Lynn University. The project’s five-year estimated economic impact is $90.4 million and will create 744 direct and indirect jobs. No county funds, its taxing power, faith or credit shall be pledged to pay the principal, premium, if any, or interest on the bond.
Budget – adopted a resolution approving a series of budget amendments and transfers in various funds reflecting adjustments for balances brought forward, other revenues, reserves and operating expenses. The total of the adjustments is an increase of $119,845,351 in 171 funds.
ERA – received the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program certification, which includes receipt in January of $45.196 million in CARES Act funding to help qualified residents with rent and utility expenses. Eligibility is based on at least one or more individuals in the rental home meeting the following: 1) qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; 2) demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and 3) has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
Resilience – approved a budget transfer of $350,000 for anticipated costs to host the FY-2022 Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit. This year’s summit was canceled, postponing Palm Beach County’s hosting of the event to FY-2022. The Office of Resilience is coordinating the FY-2022 summit and, based on previous events, expects up to 600 attendees and expenses of around $350,000, which are anticipated to be offset by registration fees and sponsorships.
Impact fees – tabled to April 6 adoption of a resolution delegating the county administrator or designee the authority to execute and record claims of liens against land with unpaid impact fee balances.
Finfrock – approved a cash grant of $1.9 million over a 10-year period and an ad valorem tax exemption of $400,000 over a 10-year period for Finfrock South Florida LLC. Previously known as Project Jacobson, the precast concrete manufacturer agrees to make a minimum capital investment of $36 million to purchase approximately 94 acres of land, as well as construct and equip a 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Belle Glade. The project will create 200 new jobs at an annualized average wage of $38,000 over a 10-year period.
Palm Tran – approved revisions to Palm Tran’s fare policy to become effective concurrently with the implementation of the new Fare Collection and Regional Interoperability Project.
Retirement – recognized and thanked PBSO Chief Deputy Mike Gauger, who is retiring after 50 years with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.