At the March 12, 2019, Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board took the following action:
Home Caregivers – adopted a series of amendments to the Palm Beach County Home Caregiver Ordinance. Changes include 1) allowing home caregivers to work up to 10 days of first assignment providing required documents are submitted to Consumer Affairs within 72 hours; 2) deferring monetary fines or penalties for 18 months while home caregiver businesses transition home caregivers to Consumer Affairs for direct monitoring with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), and 3) removing the requirement for home caregiver agencies to advise Consumer Affairs that an employee or independent contractor has taken a leave of absence of more than 90 days. A resolution was adopted establishing fees and fines for the Home Caregiver Ordinance. Licensing fees for the five-year license increased from $70 to $100 for applicants requiring fingerprint checks and from $20 to $30 for applicants submitting an agency affidavit. The new fine schedule ranges from $150 to $500, depending on the type of violation. Previously, a fixed fine of $500 was applied for all violation types.
Fire Rescue – approved an ordinance amending the Palm Beach County Fire Code to include annual inspections of certain apartments. This will enhance public safety, improve PBC Fire Rescue's ISO PPC rating, and lower insurance rates in the future for homeowners within Palm Beach County Fire Rescue's jurisdiction. Commissioners welcomed new Fire Rescue Chief Reginald Duren, who officially takes over as the department's top administrator on April 1.
Code Enforcement – approved seven new positions in the Code Enforcement Division: five code enforcement officers, one senior code enforcement officer and one special magistrate secretary.
Budget – approved a series of budget amendments and transfers totaling $154.5 million in 172 funds for balances brought forward, operating expenses, reserves and other revenues. The amendments and transfers are necessary to adjust 2019 budgets to reflect the difference between actual and estimated revenue and expenditures of FY 2018.
Palm Tran funding – approved Federal Transit Administration (FTA) super-grant applications for several Palm Tran projects, including implementation of Palm Tran's Fare Technology Interoperability (FTI) project. No county funds are required. The board authorized an FDOT grant application for the acquisition of six replacement paratransit vehicles at a cost of $484,916 with a 10 percent ($48,492) required local match, and approved an FDOT public transportation grant agreement in the amount of $831,945 with a required match in the same amount to purchase paratransit vehicles.
Palm Tran expansion – approved two amendments to the contract with The Morganti Group for the Palm Tran South expansion project separating the project into two parts and establishing guaranteed maximum pricing for each. Amendment 1 authorizes the addition of approximately 28,000 square feet of building space for offices, locker rooms, a training center for bus operators, and ancillary support space. Additional work will consist of a new 135-vehicle parking lot for employees and a new bus lift at the existing maintenance building. Amendment 2 authorizes the installation of closed-circuit TV, access control, fire alarms, an intercom system, tele-data, and A/V and cable TV systems.
Children's Movement – approved a letter supporting the Children's Movement of Florida's efforts to prioritize state funding for early childhood development. The Children's Movement has gathered over 100 letters of support from mayor's across Florida requesting the governor prioritize funding for early childhood.
Island Cove – approved an Impact Fee Affordable Housing Assistance Program (IFAHAP) funding award in the amount of $281,660 to the Delray Beach Housing Authority (DBHA) for the Island Cove project. Island Cove will have 54 deed-restricted, workforce townhomes for sale to households with incomes no greater than 140% of area median income (AMI). These funds are from interest earned by the Impact Fee Fund.
Juno Beach Pier – approved a lease agreement with Loggerhead MarineLife Center, Inc. for the continued management and operation of the Juno Beach Pier and concession building for the period of April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2024 at an annual rental rate of $48,198.
Lake Okeechobee – adopted a resolution outlining concerns regarding the potential impacts of drastically lowering Lake Okeechobee water levels, communicating priorities, and providing recommendations on how lake operations should be implemented and evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In January, the Army Corps initiated development of a new system operating manual that will include a re-evaluation of Lake Okeechobee operations and is expected to result in revised water level and discharge operations.