NEWS & UPDATES
OCTOBER 13, 2020
ALAN FIERS - MAYOR
Summary of Commission Workshop
October 12, 2020
There were several important and several controversial issues discussed at the October Commission Workshop, held Monday evening, October 12th.  Given that public attendance is not yet possible, a summary of the meeting is in order. Twelve (12) issues were discussed, as follows:

  • Updates on Riviera Beach plans for water main replacement: Riviera Beach is in the final stages of planning for the replacement of the water mains running down Lake Drive and Inlet Way. The project has been put out to bid. Bid response and evaluation will take approximately four months. Therefore, it looks like the work will begin in the spring of 2021. Once we have firm dates, the Commission will begin planning for repaving and regrading of Lake Drive and Inlet way. The repaving will enable us to regrade Lake Drive and eliminate or mitigate existing drainage issues.  We will be reporting more about this topic as the planning unfolds. In addition to the new water main, a new force sewer line will also be installed. The current sewer line has been in place for some 70 years and as it runs under the Lake Worth Lagoon, there is concern that it may begin to leak or fail. The Town is in conversation with Riviera Beach about the replacement of the new line. One option would route the line down Lake Drive to our Edwards Lane lift station and then across the lagoon. The other option crosses the lagoon just north of the Captain’s Walk building. We prefer the second option and are pushing hard in favor of it. Again, we will keep you all posted.

  • There was an update on the Junction Box issue that I have reported on in previous communications. The remedial work is currently being done by Viking. All impacted households will be receiving a letter from the Town.  Ninety-four (94) buildings have junction boxes. Thirty-seven (37) will have the boxes removed and no further action is required. The junction box will stay on the remainder of the buildings. Each of these building owners will be required to sign a letter of consent authorizing FPL to add a new piece of equipment on their building exterior wall. These letters are enclosed, as applicable, in the Town letter that you will be receiving. If you have any questions call Alan Welch at Town Hall.

  • As some will recall, there is a clause in the Town – PBSO contract which mandates that if a building alarm system sends a false alarm to the PBSO office, a fine will be levied on the building owner.  The PBSO has agreed with the Town to drop this clause from the contract. This will require a proforma opening and renegotiation and closing of the PBSO contract. Thank you to SGT Langevin and Major Matino for making this adjustment possible.

  • The Seaspray, (until further notice referred to as 123 Ocean), by order of the Bankruptcy Court, has been repossessed by the lender/lien holder. The Town is in contact with the lender’s representative. We have been assured that the Town will be kept informed as events unfold. For now, the building remains closed. It cannot be entered without the approval of the Fire Marshall, due to malfunctioning fire warning and suppression systems. We will keep you informed as events unfold.

  • The Commission agreed that the Town should open the Beach parking lot to a bloodmobile, the date to be determined. It seems that due to COVID-19 the blood banks are running low and special efforts are being made to replenish them. Once the date of the event has been set, we will be sending out a special notice.

  • A resident has requested that the Town take action to designate the Romaine on Inlet Way a Town Historical site. This action would preserve the existing structure and prevent future redevelopment.  There was an extensive discussion of this issue. The general tone of the discussion was skeptical. There was a question as to whether or not the building built in 1957 is truly historic; there was a hesitance to put the Town between those who might want to redevelop the site and those who want to preserve it. In a public comment, Janet Kortenhaus dealt with similar issues when she was a Town Clerk in New Jersey. She said that the first step was always to require the requestor to write a detailed justification for a historical designation. It was agreed that this is a reasonable next step and such a request will be made. Thank you, Janet.

  • The future of the Kennedy bunker and old Coast Guard Station on Peanut Island was discussed. Riviera Beach has requested that the Port Commission, which along with the County owns and controls the Island and these facilities, to grant them control of the structures and surrounding area. I reported that I have been in discussion with the Mayor of Palm Beach and we both are of the opinion that a tripartite agreement among Palm Beach, Palm Beach Shores, Riviera Beach, and the County would be a much better approach. It would give all concerned parties a voice in the future use of these facilities. The Commission agreed with this opinion and suggested I continue the exploratory discussions will all parties. 

  • Lot Drainage was discussed in detail. I noted that in the DRC meetings I have chaired most, if not all the projects reviewed were rejected because of or required major modification to, their drainage plans. I opined that while all agree with the goal of water retention on lots so as to avoid a runoff on into the street and associated flooding on Lake Drive, there has to be a more user-friendly way to accomplish this. All agreed. There was extensive discussion about how this can be accomplished. Commissioner DeReuil offered a suggestion on which there was general agreement. The suggestion: offer two options from which an applicant could choose. The first option would to retain 1 inch of water across the entire surface of the development site and hire an engineer to draw up a plan to accomplish this. The other would be to detail the exact physical requirements needed to accomplish the retention. This is the approach we will take in shaping a new drainage ordinance. There was total agreement that runoff of storm water on to adjacent lots should be prohibited. The next step will be to draft an ordinance and discuss and refine the draft at the next Commission workshop.

  • Twenty-eight (28) households and about four (4) residents have requested that the Town authorize the parking of duly registered and permitted golf carts on the concert pad located at the end of the Inlet Access road which runs from the junction of Inlet Way and Ocean Drive to the Inlet. There was extensive, and sometimes excited, discussion about the pros and cons of such authorization. The issue was tabled and will be discussed again at the October Commission meeting. One of the major concerns was how to effectively keep golf carts from driving down the Inlet walkway. 

  • The use of the Community Center (CC) during the COVID-19 restriction was discussed. Under the current guidelines, up to 50 people can use the Mills/Sullivan event room. But they must maintain a social distance of 6 feet and wear masks. The same requirement applies to the lower level. After each use, the rooms must be cleaned and sanitized. This creates a new and added cost to the Town. Moreover, the public works staff does not want to work weekend overtime to handle set up and cleaning. (And given that this is not essential work, the Town cannot oblige them to work.) Accordingly, there will be a charge for events as follows: $185 for cleaning of the Event room after an event, $135 for clean the downstairs open area after a major event, and $50 for cleaning and sanitizing after smaller events.  Once the COVID-19 crisis has passed these charges will be reviewed and adjusted or eliminated as appropriate. If you have any questions, please call Alan Welch, Evyonne Browning or Wendy Wells. And if you have any complaints, please call me. The Commission will review this situation frequently and make adjustments as deemed appropriate, and we will be as flexible as possible in administering this issue. 

  • Finally, a request to modify signage for use to advertise garage sales was discussed at the request of a Town resident. There was a general agreement that it would be reasonable to permit garage sales signs as follows: Signs can be placed at noon the day before the yard sale and removed following the completion of the event. They can be placed at the intersection of the street of the sale location and Lake drive and not more than two other properties on the street of the sale. To ensure signage is professional in appearance, the Town will keep garage sales signs on hand and give them to sale sponsors with a deposit of $10.00 that will be refunded when the signs are returned. An ordinance will be enacted and these modifications will be prepared.

Finally, it was announced that beginning with the October 26th Commission meeting Town residents will be able to make statements or comments to the Commission in person. One person at a time will be allowed in the meeting chamber. A resident wishing to make a statement must call ahead of time and schedule their appearance, informing the Clerk on what topic on the agenda they wish to speak and providing a cell phone number so that they can be called when it is their time to speak.  Comments can be two minutes in duration. The dais and microphone will be sanitized after each speaker.