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October 5, 2021


COVID-19 Update

While I'm grateful for the decline we are seeing in COVID-19 cases in Palm Beach County, I'm saddened by how painful this wave has been over the last few months. It has affected so many of our family, friends, and neighbors, including a devastating impact to my aide. Lisa Wilson lost six family members to COVID in a span of three weeks. Lisa told her story to the media, including the Palm Beach Post, WPTV, and CNN, urging the public to get vaccinated to save lives.

My office continues to work with the Health Care District on vaccinating farmworkers as they arrive. Already the HCD has completed one mobile clinic for this population and has two more scheduled for October, with others to be scheduled in the coming weeks as more workers arrive. It's a priority for me to protect farmworkers that plant, grow, and harvest our food.

Thank you for continuing to take precautions. We will overcome this wave by working together as a community. As a reminder, the PBC Hospital Dashboard can be found here and the Health Care District's weekly vaccination schedule can be found here.

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Aide Lisa Wilson, alongside her husband, Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson, interviewed by WPTV.

Code Enforcement Lien Forgiveness Program

Exciting news! At the September 14th County Commission meeting, the Board of County Commissioners approved a Code Enforcement Lien Amnesty program that will provide Palm Beach County property owners/lienholders with a method to clear Code Enforcement liens.

Many property owners have faced economic difficulties due to COVID-19 and this program will assist so they can obtain clear title and allow them to refinance or sell properties. The County has over 1,000 outstanding Code Enforcement liens on residential and non-residential properties. This program will enable property owners/ lienholders to apply to have 100% of the outstanding lien balance forgiven and the lien released. The program will run from October 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021. In order for a property owner/lienholder to participate in the program, the property must be in compliance with all county codes, file an application before November 30, 2021, and pay a $250 nonrefundable application fee.

To apply for this program, visit here. For more information, please contact Marie Jasmine at the Office of Financial Management and Budget at 561-355-4010.

Meals for Needy Families

On September 25, I volunteered with Christ Fellowship in Belle Glade to pack meals for families in need. In the few hours I was there, we packed thousands of meal kits. This was being done at all of their church locations. This was a truly special day. I want to thank the many volunteers, especially PBSO, students from Glades Central Football Team, and Tammy Jackson-Moore.

Update: 570,000 kits were packed on this day! Over half a million! Amazing.

Photo credit: Tammy Jackson-Moore

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Farm Tour

On September 24th, I spent a great day with area farmers and equestrians. I learned a little more about local equestrian farms, tree farms, nursery growers, and a John Deere repair business. I finished off the day with a stop at the best produce market around - Bedner Farms.

Palm Beach County agriculture - something for everyone!

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FY 2022 Budget

On September 20th, the Board of County Commissioners approved the Fiscal Year 2022 County budget. The budget is balanced at 4.7815 mills, and the millage rate has now remained the same for eleven years in a row. In the past year our first responders have been tested beyond belief, and I'm proud to share that we've once again fully funded them!

All budget documents can be found here.

State Road 7 Update

The Florida Department of Transportation has completed the design plans for the SR 7 extension. However, construction bidding, which was proposed for September 2021, has been delayed due to the City of West Palm Beach's legal challenge of the Environmental Resource Permit. An administrative hearing is scheduled in February 2022, and the judge's ruling could take an additional several months beyond. If FDOT prevails at this hearing, the permit issuance will follow and the Department will reschedule the construction bidding date.

Proclamation at The HUB

On September 30, I attended Facing the Crisis: Building Recovery Capital in the Recovery Capitol, where I presented a proclamation declaring September as National Recovery Month. During this event, held at The HUB Community Recovery Center in Delray Beach, speakers presented the concept of recovery capital and provided an update on the progress of the County's opioid response plan.

Photo (l-r): John Hulick, Senior Program Manager, PBC Office of Substance Use Disorders; Commissioner McKinlay; Ian Stone, Project Manager of The HUB Community Recovery Center; Christine Storm, Executive Director for the Behavioral Health Coalition; and Nancy Bolton, PBC Assistant County Administrator

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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Pilot Program

On September 9, the Palm Beach County Commission and County Administration attended the official launch of the electric vehicle charging stations located on the 4th floor of the Governmental Center Parking Garage. The purpose of the County’s EV Pilot Program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the charging stations by providing its employees and residents an alternative to gasoline or diesel.

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South Bay Fire Station News

Wonderful news for South Bay! Palm Beach County Fire Rescue has announced it is increasing the level of emergency service at Station 74 in South Bay by adding an additional firefighter with emergency medical training for 24-hours, 7-days-a-week coverage. I thank PBCFR for their dedication to public safety in the Glades!

In Closing

For rental assistance, click here: Emergency Rental Assistance Program

To find vaccine sites near you, click here: Interactive Vaccine Locator

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

(561) 355-2206

Kelley Burke

Chief of Staff

(561) 355-2206

Joseph Sophie

Senior Legislative Aide

(561) 355-2206

Lisa Wilson

Legislative Aide

(561) 996-4814

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