• BCC Briefs for October 20, 2020

    At the October 20, 2020, Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board took the following action:

    Palm Tran – approved changes to the Palm Tran Connection Efficiencies Project, modifying the enhanced eligibility assessment process and the reservation window to reduce cancellations. Due to COVID-19, eligibility interviews will be conducted by phone or online rather than in person.

    COVID-19 – received a report from Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health-Palm Beach County and Emergency Management Director Bill Johnson on local COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

    The state reports a total of 747,183 resident cases; 47,125 resident hospitalizations; 16,021 resident deaths; and 201 nonresident deaths. The statewide total positivity rate is 13.17%. with a daily lab positivity rate of 4.83%.

    Palm Beach County reports a total of 49,068 COVID-19 cases, 3,984 hospitalizations and 1,479 deaths. The county has had no fatalities since October 7. The total positivity rate stands at 12.35% and has been steadily going down. The daily lab positivity rate as of October 18 was 2.74%, but is showing an upward trend, Dr. Alonso said.

    Park rangers – approved one permanent park ranger supervisor, two permanent park rangers, one non-permanent park ranger supervisor and two non-permanent park ranger positions to provide overnight patrol of county parks.

    Airports – approved an amendment to the general consulting agreement with RS&H, Inc. in the amount of $3,196,990 for the continued performance of professional planning and design services related to the approved Palm Beach County Airports Capital Improvement Program.

    Communications – approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Boca Raton providing for a 400-foot self-supported public safety radio communications tower to be constructed and maintained by the county on land owned by the city.

    Habitat for Humanity – authorized conveyance of three parcels located on Highview Road, Peak Road and West Ocean Avenue for three affordable housing units to be built by Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County, Inc. and approved three county deeds in favor of the nonprofit agency. Due to affordability restrictions on the property, the units cannot be used to meet a Workforce Housing Program obligation.

    Pahokee housing – executed a Certificate of Consistency with the Consolidated Plan for the Pahokee Housing Authority (PHA) in connection with its Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) grant application to HUD. The grant funding will be used to hire a service coordinator to assess the needs of PHA residents and coordinate supportive services and other activities designed to help such residents attain economic and housing self-sufficiency.

    Right of way – adopted a resolution replacing and designating certain parcels of county-owned land as right of way for State Road 7 between Okeechobee Boulevard and 60th Street North. The corrected right of way designations cover an area of approximately 175 acres known as the Pond Cypress Natural Area, which were inadvertently included among the parcels designated as the road right of way.

    Opiates litigation – held a private attorney-client session to discuss settlement negotiations in the cases of National Prescription Opiate Litigation, Case Number: MDL 2804 (N.D. Ohio), and Palm Beach County v. Purdue Pharma, et al., Case Number: 1:18-op-46121-DAP (N.D. Ohio).

    CARES Act – authorized moving $20 million from the county's CARES Act reserve funds to the business grant category to assist local businesses that were impacted but not necessarily shut down due to COVID-19.

    Gas stations – the board directed Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth to meet with the County Attorney's Office to discuss possible preemptive issues regarding requiring gas stations to install generators and/or transfer switches, and directed county staff to prepare an economic impact analysis. Currently, less than 20 percent of the gas stations in Palm Beach County are equipped to operate when power is out.​