WEST PALM BEACH — At the May 18, 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 DOH and County and Emergency Management Director Mary Blakeney. The county is averaging 189 new cases per day. Eighty-seven percent of new cases are between the ages of 5-64 and an increase from 10-15% in ages 5-14. The daily lab positivity is at 3.89%. Total people vaccinated in Florida is 43% and in Palm Beach County is 46%.
County Administrator Verdenia Baker shared the communications and marketing efforts in conjunction with the Tourist Development Council to encourage 18-40 year olds to be vaccinated. Vaccine incentives are being encouraged by businesses. Palm Beach County is offering a $25 gift card through the wellness program to any employee willing to show proof of their full vaccination.
• Mask Order — County Administrator Verdenia Baker provided an update on county operations in relation to the updated CDC Guidelines and the Governor’s executive orders. County employees and the public whom are fully vaccinated may enter the building without masks or facial coverings. Constitutional offices in the building including the clerk, property appraiser and tax collector will set their own masking requirements in order to conduct business.
• County Attorney — Approved County Attorney Designate Agreement with Denise Coffman, Esquire for the period of June 1 through October 31, 2021; a contract for professional legal services by and between Palm Beach County and Greenberg Traurig P.A. for legal services for two current class action lawsuits against the county, not-to exceed $850,000 combined for both cases.
• Environmental Resources Management — Approved on preliminary reading and to advertise for public hearing on June 15, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. an amendment to the Cindy Defiilippo Floating Structure Ordinance prohibiting the anchoring, mooring or otherwise affixing of floating structures upon or to, waters of the county within the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.
• Airports — Approved Change Order No. 1 to Amendment No. 4 of the Construction Manager at Risk Contract with The Morganti Group, Inc. for airport improvements for Palm Beach County Department of Airports in the amount of $975,516 for escalator replacement.
• Housing and Economic Sustainability – Approved the issuance of Housing Finance Authority of Palm Beach County, Florida, Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds for St. Andrews Residences in an amount not to exceed $27,000,000 and St. James Residences in an amount not to exceed $36,000,000. Neither the taxing power nor the faith and credit of the County nor any County funds are pledged to pay the principal, redemption premium, if any, or interest on the bonds.
St. Andrews Residences bond is being issued to finance the costs of acquiring, renovating and equipping a multifamily rental housing facilities for the elderly containing 177 units located at 208 Fern Street in the City of West Palm Beach. These units will be rented to qualified persons and families whose household incomes do not exceed 80% of area median income.
St. James Residences bond is being issued to finance the costs of acquiring, renovating and equipping a multifamily rental housing facility for the elderly containing 148 units located at 400 S. Olive Avenue in the City of West Palm Beach. These units will be rented to qualified persons and families whose household incomes do not exceed 60% of area median income.
Approved the allocation of $5,386,951 of Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) Program funding to be used for a mortgage assistance/foreclosure prevention program that will assist eligible homeowners with incomes up to 80% area median income and who have suffered adverse financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Financial Management and Budget — Approved an interlocal agreement between Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency (TPA) distributing an outstanding fund balance of $420,086 of which $100,000 was transferred to the TPA and the remaining $320,086 committed for executing an interlocal agreement with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to continue operations and maintenance of SR 80 street lighting throughout its useful life.
• Commission on Ethics — Approved on preliminary reading and to advertise for public hearing on June 15, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. amendment to chapter 2, article V, Division 8 of the Palm Beach County Code, the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics Ordinance.
• Public Safety — Approved motion receive and file the 2021 Storm Season Preparedness Report compiled by the Public Safety Department’s Division of Emergency Management. Hurricane Season begins June 1 and experts are forecasting another active season. The public is encouraged to get prepared for the 2021 Storm Season.