At their regular board meeting today (February, 10, 2016), the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County Governing Board approved seven projects totaling $500,000 for Blighted and Distressed Property Clean-up and Beautification Grants. The awarded grants (in alphabetical order by grantee) are from:
City of Belle Glade
Project Title – Belle Glade Old Water Treatment Plant
Amount Awarded – $107,445
Description – this project will demolish, recycle, haul and dispose of all remaining structures of the City of Belle Glade’s old water treatment plant, located at 1016 W. Canal St. S. This facility was closed down when the county built the Regional Water Treatment Plant in 2008, and was abandoned when the city’s water and sewer operations were assumed by the Glades Utility Authority in 2009. The property is currently in deplorable condition and is public health and safety concern. The City of Belle Glade will be responsible to maintain the property with current staffing and equipment after the demolition is complete.
City of Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Project Title – Heart of Boynton Neighborhood Improvement Project
Amount Awarded – $62,310.25
Description – this project will focus on three aspects to further the implementation of the Heart of Boynton CRA Plan:
(1) Sara Sims Expansion and Redevelopment - demolish an existing 1,072 square-foot blighted structure located at 909 N. Seacrest Blvd. and remove 4,000 square feet of asphalt parking lot. The building was constructed in the 1970s and is highly susceptible to loitering and illegal dumping.
(2) Redevelopment of NE 4/5th Avenues - clear the non-native and invasive species from CRA-owned land on the block of NE 4th Avenue and NE 5th Avenue. This improvement will enhance public safety by clearing out undergrowth and will prevent loitering and vagrancy.
(3) City Public Works Façade Improvement - replace fencing and fence screening; pressure clean and paint the exterior wall; repair the irrigation system on the perimeter of the site; and install native, drought-tolerant plants along the perimeter of the City’s Public Works site.
These projects will recycle the construction and other debris (concrete block, asphalt, wood, fencing, irrigation piping, etc.) to the extent possible. The vacant lots will be planted with sod, which will also stabilize the soil from storm runoff and wind.
City of Delray Beach
Project Title – Demolition and Clearance Program
Amount Awarded – $63,200
Description – the primary goal is to assist in the cleanup or beautification of distressed, blighted or otherwise impacted properties to maintain safe, habitable and viable neighborhoods through the Demolition and Clearance Program. Funds will be distributed on condemned properties or properties deemed unsafe in areas with more than 50 percent low to moderate income households to demolish structures; remove demolition products, rubble and other debris; remove junk vehicles and scrap materials; remove environmental contaminants or treat for improvements for commercial/residential units; and make improvements for future development.
City of Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Project Title – Delray Beach CRA Demolition
Amount Awarded – $51,701.66
Description – this project will demolish four blighted properties, which have been purchased by the City of Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency in its continued effort to eliminate slum and blighted influences in the West Atlantic Neighborhood. All four properties will be part of an ongoing assemblage of land that may be redeveloped into mixed use developments.
City of Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency
Project Title – Armory Art Annex/Lake Worth Community Arts Center Exterior Improvements and Perimeter Fencing
Amount Awarded – $72,700
Description – this project will make improvements to the property to the exterior of the property, Historic Shuffleboard Court Property, 1121 Lucerne Ave., which is in the heart of Lake Worth’s redevelopment area. These improvements are to mitigate the amount of trash at the site and create a more welcoming experience for residents and visitors. Specific improvements include the addition of 450 linear feet of decorative perimeter fencing and gate around the former shuffleboard court area and 160 linear feet of vegetation covered fencing between the property and the railroad tracks. Additional improvements include the removal of an obsolete irrigation system, removal of old/dead plants, and planting of drought-resistant, low-maintenance ground covering.
City of Riviera Beach
Project Title – The Cunningham Park Revitalization Project
Amount Awarded – $99,070
Description – revitalize Cunningham Park to foster a greater sense of place, offer safer neighborhoods, and provide an overall stronger and more beautiful community. Specific improvements in this park revitalization include entrance feature with new perimeter fencing; pavilions; tot-lot with new playground equipment; concrete trail; basketball courts; paved activity space; restrooms and drinking fountains; benches; trash receptacles; bike racks; greenspace play areas; shade trees and irrigation; and site lighting and security cameras. The park shall be maintained by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.
City of Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Project Title – Riviera Beach Heights Gateway Project Park
Amount Awarded – $44,646
Description – This grant will assist the City of Riviera Beach CRA with recapturing a blighted and distressed property that has the potential to serve as the gateway anchor feature into one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City. The CRA believes that by creating this signature project, Riviera Beach Heights Gateway Pocket Park, it will catalyze other adjacent revitalization and provide a safer, healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the area residents.
The SWA Governing Board approved the Blighted And Distressed Property Clean-Up And Beautification Grant back in February 2015 as an additional benefit from revenues generated from the supplemental waste used to fill the excess capacity at Renewable Energy Facility 2. Five hundred thousand dollars were available to local governments to assist in the cleanup or beautification of distressed, blighted or otherwise impacted properties in Palm Beach County. Municipalities, community development or redevelopment districts, special districts, or other governmental entities within Palm Beach County could apply. Applications could have been for multiple projects; however, funding is approved on an annual basis by the SWA Governing Board with no guarantee of future funding of projects for additional years.
The SWA Governing Board has the opportunity to extend the grant program for next year, based on continuing to receive revenue from supplemental waste. If the grant program is extended, the application process will be initiated in the fall of 2016.
Revenues generated from this supplemental waste have already benefitted Palm Beach County residents in the form of a $5 reduction in a single family homeowner’s garbage disposal assessment. The commercial and governmental disposal rates were also reduced proportionally.
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