West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio
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'Dance into the Sunset' Pilot Project to
Connect Historic Northwest with Downtown
Project is designed to make Rosemary a true neighborhood 'Main Street'
The City of West Palm Beach is currently working on the execution of a pilot project, “Dance into the Sunset,” to connect the Historic Northwest with the downtown. The project follows the recommendation made by urban planners with Denmark-based Gehl Studio with whom the City contracted to develop a Public Realm Action plan to improve livability and quality of life in the City. This plan was made possible thanks to a $150-thousand grant from the Knight Foundation.
"This pilot project, located in an area where our CRA has done a lot of work, has tremendous potential," said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. "We're looking at developing along Rosemary and linking the Historic Northwest with the downtown and CityPlace."
In making its recommendation to the City, Gehl noted, “It’s time to restitch the Historic Northwest and downtown. Rosemary was once the commercial heart of Historic Northwest but has since fallen into vacancy and disrepair. Let’s leverage investment in the Sunset Lounge and set the stage for a renewed ‘Main Street’ to serve Historic Northwest residents and visitors.”
Currently, Gehl and the City are conducting research and pilot project studies to test the vision, criteria and public space quality and metrics of this recommendation.
Among the goals of the project are:
- Breaking down the 'Banyan Barrier' to increase the number of people walking from downtown to the Historic Northwest;
- Making Rosemary Street a neighborhood destination;
- Piloting the future with the neighborhood by engaging residents.
"Because the CRA has done so much work in that area and because it is a connection with the Convention Center and CityPlace, Rosemary was the perfect place for a pilot program to apply the Public Realm Action Plan," said Economic Development Director Chris Roog. "'Dance into the Sunset' is the application of the principles that have come out of the Public Realm Action Plan. The project also includes things such as shade, lighting and wide sidewalks that make our streets a comfortable place to be."
To view the WPBF News Report on 'Dance into the Sunset',
click the video image below!
'Effort Underway to Unite West Palm Beach Neighborhoods'
Video Courtesy: WPBF
To learn more about Gehl, visit: http://www.gehlpeople.com. To learn more about the Knight Foundation, visit: http://knightfoundation.org. To learn more about the City of West Palm Beach, visit: http://www.wpb.org.
‘Back-to-School’ 3D Campaign to Make Drivers Think Twice About Speeding
WPB Joins FDOT, PBC Schools to Make Streets Safer for
students, all with ‘Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow’ Campaign
Heads up! The City of West Palm Beach will be welcoming some special visitors from August 14-18, 2017 in an effort to make the City's streets safer for children as the start of the new school year gets underway.
3-D, life-size, human shaped signs representing young pedestrians and bicyclists will be placed around schools located in the City. The goal of the campaign is to promote safety and raise awareness about how roads are shared by all: walkers, bicyclists and drivers.
Sample Images that will be used for Display in the 'Back-to-School' 3D Safety Campaign
The City of West Palm Beach has partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the School District of Palm Beach County to hold the week long safety ‘Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow’ campaign.
Keep a lookout for the signs, as they will be moved throughout the week to the streets surrounding these five different locations:
- Monday, August 14: Northmore Elementary School; 4111 N. Terrace Drive
- Tuesday, August 15: Dreyfoos School of the Arts; 501 S. Sapodilla Avenue
- Wednesday, August 16: Forest Hill High School; 6901 Parker Avenue
- Thursday, August 17: Conniston Middle School; 3630 Parker Avenue
- Friday, August 18: Belvedere Elementary School; 3000 Parker Avenue
Palm Beach County Public Schools will be back in session on Monday, August 14, signaling the opening of the 2017-2018 school year. The beginning of school also means a sudden change in traffic patterns and kids walking and bicycling to school.
The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at an increased risk of transportation-related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and motor vehicle crashes. The City offers the following tips, courtesy of FDOT, for making the back-to-school commute safer:
- Reduce your speed and obey the posted school zone speed limits.
- Always stop for the school bus that has stopped to load/unload children.
- Be alert and ready to stop. Watch for children, especially where there are no sidewalks.
- Give children on bicycles lots of room (3 feet required by law).
- Expect more traffic on the roads and factor this into your daily commute time.
For more information, contact City of West Palm Beach Development Services Senior Planner Heather Tribou at (561) 822-1562.
PBAU Students to Help WPB Keep
Okeechobee Boulevard Beautiful
400 Students, City to Partner on Landscaping Volunteer Project
Palm Beach Atlantic University Volunteers at a Recent WPB Waterfront Cleanup
One of the City of West Palm Beach’s largest volunteer groups will soon give the gateway to our beloved City some extra sparkle! More than 400 Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU) students will join City of West Palm Beach employees and volunteers for the Okeechobee Boulevard Landscaping Volunteer Project on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 9:00am until noon!
The students, employees and volunteers will remove exotics, trim landscaping, weed and pick up litter on both sides of Okeechobee Boulevard for a mile long stretch between the Australian Avenue and I-95 ramps. The students will volunteer under the direction of the Office of Volunteer Services, Parks and Utilities staff. The City will provide snacks and drinks and provide all participants with a ‘thank you’ gift.
“We are so grateful to Palm Beach Atlantic University and these exceptional students,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “By volunteering, they inspire everyone to get involved!”
PBAU is the City's largest and most supportive volunteer group, as it arranges its freshman and transfer students to participate in a community service project as part of their ‘Welcome Week’ orientation.
PBAU has conducted many volunteer projects in our City. They have adopted a portion of the waterfront at the Royal Palm Bridge as part of the City's Adopt-A-Park program.
“The PBAU students are some of our best volunteers,” said WPB Volunteer Services Event Specialist Brandon Zicker. “They’ve helped with house paintings, community cleanups and so much more.”
Those interested in participating in volunteer projects can contact Brandon Zickar, Event Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 804-4938.
WPBPD Teams up with
Former NFL Player and 'Shooting 4 Peace'
The West Palm Beach Police Department's Juvenile Unit has teamed up with Ray Sydnor, a former NFL player and founder of Shooting 4 Peace, a nationally recognized organization working with children to build bridges with police. Mr. Sydnor was a third-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1980.
On Saturday, August 19th and in collaboration with the West Palm Beach Police Department, Shooting 4 Peace will host a basketball day clinic for 100 children at Salvation Army (600 N. Rosemary Ave.) from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Guest speakers will include Ray Sydnor, former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson, and Dr. Ted Sutton, the CEO of Sutton House.
The West Palm Beach Police Foundation and Cops & Scholars has generously provided the funding for all attendees.
To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/shooting1111peace/.
WEST PALM BEACH HOLDS FREE WORKSHOP FOR SMALL-, WOMEN-, MINORITY- AND SERVICE-DISABLED VETERAN BUSINESS OWNERS ON SEPT. 7, 4-6 P.M.
Procurement Director to host free workshop to share
how small businesses can benefit from 1 percent sales tax increase
For the third time this year, the City of West Palm Beach is inviting small business owners, including minorities, women, and service-disabled veterans to learn more about how they could potentially benefit from the City’s 1 percent sales tax increase.
Frank Hayden, the City’s Director of Procurement, is hosting a free workshop from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at Armory Arts Center, 811 Park Place in West Palm Beach.
He will explain updated programs created to encourage more engagement among small-, minority-owned, female-owned and service-disabled veteran businesses and the City’s streamlined processes for businesses to get certified.
Hayden will be joined by other City representatives who will outline the City’s funding sources for new contracts, share opportunities with the City’s upcoming construction and refurbishment projects, and provide details on how the City works with the South Florida Water Management District, School District and other county procurement departments. Guests can talk to City representatives one-on-one, following their presentations.
“The City has its funding in place, including funds generated from the 1 percent sales tax, and projects ready for bid,” Hayden said. “We are excited to share the most recent details of our upcoming projects. We’ve been welcoming audiences from across the county to our free workshops in January and June. We want to welcome everyone who couldn’t attend the other events and new business owners who are interested in working with us.”
The new programs within his Procurement Department have been designed to increase the number of small businesses, women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses certified to bid on new contracts and to increase the amount of contract work awarded to these businesses. The results of a recent Disparity Study have increased the need for greater inclusion among women-owned and minority-owned businesses on certain types of work available from the City.
In 2016, the Procurement Department introduced new programs to help small business enterprises be more competitive in the City’s bid process. They include the Sheltered Market Program, bid equalization, the elimination of the Good Faith effort and new small business thresholds. Hayden has set a goal to increase the number of small businesses certified by the City by 5 percent annually and to increase the number of dollars spent with certified businesses by 5 percent annually, as well.
“Our first goal is to grow the City’s database of qualified small businesses certified to work with West Palm Beach with an emphasis on engaging more women-owned, minority-owned and small- business enterprises. We’ve streamlined the paperwork to make it simpler and less time-intensive,” Hayden said. “Once certified, business owners are strongly urged to contact my department to learn how the Sheltered Market, bid equalization and small business thresholds work for them.”
For example, the Sheltered Market program is created for only certified small business enterprises (SBEs) to be able to bid on contract opportunities valued at $500,000 or less. The ‘shelter’ allows SBEs to compete against each other instead of larger enterprises.
Bid equalization enables certified SBEs to compete with non-certified SBEs. If a bid by a certified SBE is within 10 percent of a bid by a non-certified SBE, the City can make the award to the certified SBE, even though its bid could be up to 10 percent higher, Hayden said. The City has also eliminated the Good Faith Effort, which created a loophole for larger enterprises to avoid awarding a percentage of their subcontract work to SBEs.
To assist small business owners through the process of becoming certified, the City is working with Paragon (www.paragonfl.org), which provides hands-on help with completing required paperwork and education on how to properly submit a bid.
The City of West Palm Beach Procurement Department offers opportunities for all suppliers, including small businesses. It values business relationships and strives to promote fair and equitable treatment of all suppliers. To learn more about its procurement opportunities in the area of goods and services, construction and professional services, visit www.wpb.org/procurement or call 561-822-2100.
West Palm Beach Fire Rescue to Receive
$2-Million FEMA “SAFER Grant”
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and West Palm Beach Fire Rescue (WPBFR) Chief Diana Matty announce WPBFR has been named the recipient of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant. The funding will enable WPBFR to hire, train, and support 15 firefighters with matching funds from the City of West Palm Beach for three years.
FEMA approved the grant in the amount of $2,354,586.00. As a condition of this award, WPBFR is required to contribute a cost match in the amount of $1,463,664.00 of non-Federal funds. The Federal share is $2,354,586.00 of the approved total project cost of $3,818,250.00.
“These new firefighters will strengthen an already very strong West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Department,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “We are grateful to FEMA for the award and look forward to the entire City benefiting from these additional firefighters.”
The staffing is critical to maintaining safe fire rescue operations and the City’s favorable Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of “2”.
“The 15 new firefighters will be able to provide all of the necessary emergency and non-emergency service delivery as other employees currently with the department,” said Chief Diana Matty. “They will further strengthen the available force should a natural or man-made disaster occur.”
The SAFER grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the.
To learn more about the Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA Safer Grant, visit: https://www.fema.gov/staffing-adequate-fire-emergency-response-grants. To learn more about WPBFR, visit: http://wpb.org/wpbfr/.
City of West Palm Beach Tap Water
Meets all Federal and State Standards
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health. The City of West Palm Beach tap water meets all Federal and State standards. The City takes thousands of water samples to monitor your drinking water quality according to Federal and State laws, rules, and regulations. Drinking water samples are tested in accordance to the regulatory schedule. Annual reports on the City’s tap water quality are available on the City web site at wpb.org/waterreport .
FDOT Issues Traffic Updates for WPB
Southern Blvd. Bridge Replacement Project
The westbound lane of Southern Boulevard between Flagler Drive and the Southbridge Condominiums driveway will be closed by FDOT from 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, to 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, as traffic signal poles are installed.
During this closure, drivers going west over the bridge will be detoured as follows:
- North on Flagler Drive to Monroe Drive
- West on Monroe Drive to Washington Road
- South on Washington Road to Flagler Drive
The northbound lane of Flagler Drive from north of Flagler Promenade North to Southern Boulevard will be closed from 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, to 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18, as traffic signal poles are installed. Northbound traffic will be maintained in the westbound left-turn lane.
AT&T Permit Work: Starting Monday, August 14, the eastbound lanes of Southern Boulevard from west of Washington Road to Flagler Drive will be closed by FDOT with eastbound traffic shifted to the north as AT&T performs utility work in the area. One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained at all times. Traffic will remain in this configuration through September 2017.
For more information, please contact FDOT Project Manager Antonio Defreitas at (787) 363-0126.
Brightline to Conduct More 'Flagging', Test Runs
Photo Courtesy: Brightline
Brightline has notified the City that it continues to make improvements to the railway and signal system through the City of West Palm Beach.
On Tuesday, August 15 - Wednesday, August 16, off-duty officers or safety personnel will be in position to flag the crossings while testing is underway. Brightline has instructed the safety personnel to flag the crossings during the approach of a train and until it is safely past the crossing. Please note that the timing of these upgrades is subject to change due to construction and weather-associated impacts.
Please be vigilant around the railway. Only cross at sidewalks or at-grade crossing. Always look both ways before crossing the tracks. Be alert! Never trespass on train tracks; it’s against the law. For more safety tips, visit: http://gobrightline.com/safety/.
Traffic Advisory for Parents, Guardians of
Bear Lakes High, Seminole Trails Elementary, Jeaga Middle and Grassy Waters Elementary Schools
As students head back to school, please be aware that Roebuck Road between Military Trail and Haverhill Road will have restricted access and remain closed through September. Roebuck Road between Haverhill and Jog will remain closed through October. This is a result of the second phase of the City's Force Main Renewal Project underway this summer.
Parents and guardians, please keep this in mind when planning your child's drop-off and pick-up at school. Please know that we thank you for your patience.
Contractors have been sharing this information and conducting outreach with nearby residents, schools, businesses, neighborhood associations, teachers and crossing guards. Access to Seminole Trails Elementary School will continue on Willow Pond Road as usual. Sections of Roebuck Road will open as available, and any upcoming traffic pattern changes will be communicated.
To learn more about this project and to view maps of the affected area, visit http://wpb.org/forcemain2. For questions or comments, call 855-800-8287.
#CityHallSelfie Day is August 15
The Florida League of Cities and the Georgia Municipal Association have entered into a friendly competition called City Hall Selfie Day! To boost civic pride in municpal services and leadership, the organizations are trying to best each other via a selfie competition on Tuesday, August 15.
Participating is easy! All you need to do is snap a selfie in front of City Hall and post to Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram on August 15 with the hashtag #CityHallSelfie. Be sure to tag the League @FLCities, and don't forget the hashtag #ILoveWPB!
Come on, West Palm Beach! Let's tweet, post and tag!
Mandel Public Library Helps
Kids & Teens Go Back to School
WPB Library offers Homework Centers and tons of resources for students
The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach offers students and parents numerous free programs, tools and resources to help kids and teens succeed in school. Free academic support for students anchors the library’s afterschool initiatives with its popular and successful homework centers. In addition, the library offers a variety of free programs and activities for preschoolers and students of all ages that focus on literacy, technology, wellness and fun.
To encourage more children to visit the library, students (grades K-12) can enter the library’s Back to School Contest for a chance to win an Amazon Fire Tablet. By visiting the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and checking out a book, students will automatically be entered to win. They can also see a librarian and learn how to download free books, movies and music using the library’s hoopla app for another chance to win. The contest runs Aug. 22 through Sept. 23, with a limit of two entries per library cardholder.
Below are some of the highlights students and preschoolers can take advantage of at the Mandel Public Library:
Starting August 21, the library offers free After-School Homework Centers for elementary, middle and high schoolers. The centers are equipped with the latest technology and are facilitated and managed by certified teachers. Besides assistance with homework projects and test prep, they also provide healthy snacks and much needed encouragement. The Homework Centers focus on promoting a positive school experience and encourage kids and teens to attend school every day.
Elementary Age: Monday – Thursday, 4:00 – 7:00 PM
Teens (Middle & High School): Monday – Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
The Mandel Public Library Homework Centers average just over 22 kids per day, and since 2010, have seen over 15,000 visits. In 2016, all of the high school seniors who regularly attended the Teen Homework Center celebrated high school graduations and college acceptances.
Step by Step … Kindergarten Prep!
Starting September 6, preschoolers can attend Storytime that is specifically designed to focus on reinforcing oral language, print awareness, vocabulary, phonological awareness and letter recognition. Librarians also spend time speaking to parents about the importance of incorporating these literacy skills into daily routines.
September 6 – November 17:
Step 1: Babies, 12 – 24 Months: Fridays at 10:30 AM
Step 2: Toddlers, 2 and 3 Years: Wednesdays at 10:30 AM
Step 3: Preschoolers, 3-4 Years: Tuesdays at 10:30 AM
Free books, downloadable ebooks, music and movies: The library provides free access to thousands of books, movies, music and much more that can be checked out by students to help with their homework or simply to enjoy! In addition to visiting the library, students can access materials on their desktop or mobile devices using the library’s hoopla app.
Other Programs Include:
- Dog Tales: In this popular reading incentive program, kids can pick a book of their choice to read aloud to various therapy dogs. Each child that participates gets a book to take home and add to their home library. This program provides children the opportunity to read aloud without pressure or embarrassment in a safe environment, and breeds confidence to help readers grow.
- College Prep Courses for Teens: Teens can receive one-on-one and group setting assistance from Kaplan, and have an opportunity to take ACT/SAT pretests at the library for free.
- STEAM programs: Kids can play, create and learn while having fun using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) skills, including coding workshops.
- Exercise: Kids and teens can learn the basics of health and wellness, while getting in some exercise. Classes include yoga, Zumba, dance, and more.
- Free access to Internet and Wi-Fi: The library has over 140 computers and two separate departments just for kids and teens with computers that have free access to the internet. Students can work on homework assignments by researching via our free databases, typing papers in Word, or creating presentations in PowerPoint.
- Kids Can Cook: Kids, grades 3 – 5, can learn cooking basics during this fun and interactive class while engaging literacy, math and science skills.
- Play Paks: These interactive literacy kits are designed for preschool children and a caregiver to explore and learn subjects and themes that will provide them the tools to enter kindergarten. Examples of themes available: Alphabet, Counting, Matching, Rhyming, Addition, Colors, Measurement, Opposites, etc.
- Study Space: The library offers students quiet places to read, study or work on group projects.
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