• This Week in Palm Beach - February 5, 2016
  • Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg on Increased Lake Okeechobee Discharges
  • CIVIC ASSOCIATION HEALTHCARE NEWS ALERT: Florida Readies for a Fight with Zika Virus
  • Sales Tax News
  • Doyle Rogers Funeral Schedule and Memoriam

 

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This Week in Palm Beach - February 5, 2016
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. February 5, 2016 edition.
Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg on Increased Lake Okeechobee Discharges
Today, Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg released the following statement following the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maximize discharges from Lake Okeechobee beginning tomorrow:
CIVIC ASSOCIATION HEALTHCARE NEWS ALERT: Florida Readies for a Fight with Zika Virus
Florida's history of fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks puts the state in perhaps better position than most when it comes to the Zika virus.
Sales Tax News
The Palm Beach County Administrator is set to pitch a sales tax increase to Palm Beach County Commissioners on Tuesday, February 9th . The county staff identified $712M in needs and backs sales tax increase.
Book Early for the Civic Association Annual Awards Luncheon Featuring Keynote Speaker Bob Wright
The Civic Association is pleased to announce Bob Wright as the keynote speaker for the Annual Awards Luncheon at The Breakers.
Town Square Celebration in Pictures
The restored Memorial Fountain and redesigned Town Square were dedicated and celebrated by town leaders on Sunday. The Civic Association donated $10,000 toward the cause with other donors across Palm Beach.
Undergrounding: How Much Will it Cost Me?
The Town of Palm Beach unveiled the on-line search tool today at the Undergrounding Task Force meeting so you can see the undergrounding assessment costs for your property.
Latest Undergrounding News & Information
Here's the latest news about Undergrounding in the Town of Palm Beach
Top Stories
This Week in Palm Beach - February 5, 2016
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Friday, 05 February 2016 14:46

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. February 5, 2016 edition.

 To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

 
 

THIS WEEK IN PALM BEACH
The News Palm Beachers Need to Know

February 5, 2016
UNDERGROUNDING
Political Action Committee Forms to Oppose Utility Burial in Palm Beach
A political action committee has organized to oppose a town initiative to bury all utilities on the island. The PAC, Palm Beachers for Common Sense, registered Wednesday with Town Clerk Susan Owens' office.

Residents May Get Option to Prepay on Assessments 
The town is looking into giving property owners a chance to prepay their share of the cost of town-wide utility undergrounding.
By prepaying, owners would avoid annual assessments that will be on property tax bills.  
Latest Undergrounding News & Information
Visit the Palm Beach Civic Association's website for all the latest news and information in the Town of Palm Beach.
Read More (Civic Association News)
How Much Will Undergrounding Cost you?
The Town of Palm Beach unveiled the on-line search tool this week at the Undergrounding Task Force meeting to help residences calculate undergrounding assessment costs for
their property.
CIVIC ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL AWARDS LUNCHEON
 
The Civic Association is pleased to announce Bob Wright as the keynote speaker for the Annual Awards Luncheon at The Breakers.

Bob is the Chairman and CEO of the Civic Association, the co-founder of Autism Speaks with his wife Suzanne, and the former vice-chair of GE and president and CEO of NBC.

Bob joined NBC as President and Chief Executive Officer on September 1, 1986 when he was 43, and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal until May 1, 2007. He had one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive

Read More (Civic Association News)

Click Here to Purchase Tickets Online

or

Call to Purchase

561-655-0820
FOUNTAIN
Memorial Fountain - Photo by Dragana Connaughton
Town Square Celebration in Pictures
The restored Memorial Fountain and redesigned Town Square were dedicated and celebrated by town leaders on Sunday. 
SOLD OUT!
CIVIC ASSOCIATION EVENT 
Ann Norton Sculpture Garden
Private Tour and Luncheon at the
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
11:00 am
2051 South Flagler Drive,
West Palm Beach


CIVIC ASSOCIATION MEMBERS ONLY
 
CIVIC ASSOCIATION
DIRECTORS IN THE NEWS
Steve Ross
Miami Dolphins Owner Steve Ross, a Civic Association Director, Makes a Big New York Win
Ross's New York-based Related Companies is doing well. The city's largest developer has a dozen projects under way in New York alone, spanning affordable and luxury residences, hotels and mixed use developments.
Wilbur Ross
Invest like a legend
Civic Association Director Wilbur Ross
Wilbur Ross is chairman and chief strategy officer for New York-based WL Ross & Co., an affiliate of Invesco. The 78-year-old contrarian has made a fortune...
WEST PALM DEVELOPS
Palm Beach Outlet Rendering
Rendering of the Palm Beach Outlets - TheRealDeal.com
Palm Beach County's Biggest
Commercial Buyers of 2015
Investors sank billions of dollars into Palm Beach County real estate last year. The Real Deal compiled a list of 2015's biggest commercial investors. Check out the top five.
SOLD OUT!
Civic Association
Breakfast with Our Visionary Leader
Steve Ross
Monday - February 15. 2016 - 9:00 a.m.
Colony Hotel / Members Only Event

MEETINGS & EVENTS

Monday, February 8, 9:30 AM
Town Tax & Finance Committee
Town Hall Council Chambers

Tuesday, February 9, 9:30 AM 
Town Hall Council Chambers

February 10, 9:30 AM
Town Council Meeting-Development Review
Town Hall Council Chambers

Monday, February 15, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM 
BREAKFAST WITH OUR VISIONARY LEADER 
Steve Ross 
The Colony Hotel | Pavilion Room

February 16, 9:30 AM 
Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting 
Town Hall Council Chambers

February 17, 9:30 AM 
Landmarks Preservation Commission Meeting 
Town Hall Council Chambers

Tuesday, February 23, 11:00 AM
Private Tour and Luncheon
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
 
Palm Beach County's executive staff has identified more than $712 million in needs for repairs and new facilities and backs a sales tax increase to pay for them.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)

Administrator Set to Pitch Sales Tax Increase to Commissioners
Palm Beach County's sales tax could jump to 7 percent on purchases if county commissioners back one of the plans they'll hear on Tuesday and it's approved by voters this fall.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)

PBC Schools Seek to
Join County on Asking
for 1-Cent Sales Tax Hike
A majority of Palm Beach County School Board members said Wednesday that they want to join with the county's municipal governments and cultural organizations in a campaign to raise the county's 6-cent sales tax by an extra penny.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)
New Council Members to be Sworn In at Palm Beach Town Council Meeting Tuesday
Priscilla Taylor Quits Congressional Race, Faces Fight to Keep commission Seat
Priscilla Taylor
Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, who said she couldn't raise enough money to compete with her congressional rivals, now appears headed toward an expensive race to remain on the commission.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)
Doyle Rogers Funeral Schedule and Memoriam
Doyle Rodgers
Doyle Rogers
1929 - 2016
Doyle Rogers funeral is scheduled for Saturday, February 13 at the Royal Poinciana Chapel at 60 Cocoanut Row. Services start at 11 a.m.
Everglades Foundation News
Eric Eikenberg
Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg on Increased Lake Okeechobee Discharges
Today, Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg released the following statement following the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maximize discharges from Lake Okeechobee beginning tomorrow.
Read More (Civic Association New)
Photo by Patrick Lynch
Everglades Restoration Bill Passes House Committee
A bill that would fund Everglades restoration efforts with up to $200 million a year cleared the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Thursday with a unanimous vote.
Read More (Florida Politics)
SCRIPPS FLORIDA NEWS
Scientists Win $1.2M to Study New
Disease Strategies
Scripps Florida scientists will study how to treat obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease & muscle decline.
Scripps Microscope Gets Down to Millionths of Millimeters
Scripps Florida's newest microscope cost $500,000, can see things a few millionths of a millimeter apart and is so sensitive it can be thrown off by the draft from the air conditioning.
Civic Association
HEALTHCARE ALERT!
Florida Readies for a Fight with Zika Virus 
Florida's history of fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks puts the state in perhaps better position than most when it comes to the Zika virus.

Florida's warm climate, year-round mosquitoes and revolving door of international travelers make it vulnerable to the Zika virus, but local governments aggressively urge people to dump or cover anything on their property that holds water so they don't end up raising mosquitoes that spread the virus through bites.
Read More (Civic Association News)
Thousands of Blacktip Sharks Cruise the Palm Beach Shoreline
wikipedia image
The blacktip shark is found in warm coastal waters surrounding Florida, frequently seen inhabiting bays, estuaries, coral reefs, and the shallow waters off beaches and river mouths.
 
 
Top Stories
Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg on Increased Lake Okeechobee Discharges
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 05 February 2016 12:20

Today, Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg released the following statement following the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maximize discharges from Lake Okeechobee beginning tomorrow:

EricEikenbergEvergladesFoundationHeadshot-w300Image: Eric Eikenberg, CEO Everglades Foundation

We are disheartened to hear today’s announcement to increase discharges from Lake Okeechobee to maximum capacity. Still recovering from polluted discharges during the ‘Lost Summer’ of 2013, the fragile St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries are once again at risk of facing ecological and economic fallout that’s becoming all too common.

Lake-Okeechobee-discharge-w600Completing projects outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is needed now more than ever. These projects will allow the discharges to be treated and sent south to areas like Florida Bay that are starving for fresh water instead of being dumped out to sea.

We’re optimistic that a bill moving through the Florida Legislature to provide at least $100 million per year for CERP projects alone—and even more for Everglades restoration in general—will be signed into law. This ‘Legacy Florida’ legislation would establish dedicated funding for critical restoration projects that would decrease harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges.

Find out more: www.EvergladesFoundation.org

The Everglades Foundation is a Civic Association Corporate Partner.

Top Stories
CIVIC ASSOCIATION HEALTHCARE NEWS ALERT: Florida Readies for a Fight with Zika Virus
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 05 February 2016 11:57

Florida's history of fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks puts the state in perhaps better position than most when it comes to the Zika virus.

Florida's warm climate, year-round mosquitoes and revolving door of international travelers make it vulnerable to the Zika virus, but local governments aggressively urge people to dump or cover anything on their property that holds water so they don't end up raising mosquitoes that spread the virus through bites.

A rainy, humid winter already had mosquito control officials on alert statewide and door-to-door inspections have been increased in neighborhoods where 12 cases of Zika were reported, all from people who have traveled abroad.

Read More (Palm Beach Post)

 
Florida Governor Expands State of Emergency in Zika Virus Outbreak [ABC News 1:52]

 

scripps florida verticalScripps Florida Researching Zika Virus

The Zika virus is now causing a health emergency.  Two months ago most of us had never even heard of it.

Now, five Florida counties are under a public health emergency.  The race for answers continues, one that is actually happening right in our back yard with Scripps Florida.

See More (WPTV-NBC5)


Scripps Florida is a Palm Beach Civic Association Partner

Top Stories
Sales Tax News
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 05 February 2016 11:12

The Palm Beach County Administrator is set to pitch a sales tax increase to Palm Beach County Commissioners on Tuesday, February 9th . The county staff identified $712M in needs and backs sales tax increase.

Sales-Tax-w600Palm Beach County’s sales tax could jump to 7 percent on purchases if county commissioners back one of the plans they’ll hear on Tuesday and it’s approved by voters this fall.

Read More (Palm Beach Post)

 

PBC Staff Identifies $712M in Needs; Backs Sales Tax Increase
Palm Beach County’s executive staff has identified more than $712 million in needs for repairs and new facilities and backs a sales tax increase to pay for them. The staff’s formal recommendation will be made when the County Commission meets on Tuesday.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)

 

PBC Schools Seek to Join County on Asking for 1-Cent Sales Tax Hike
A majority of Palm Beach County School Board members said Wednesday that they want to join with the county’s municipal governments and cultural organizations in a campaign to raise the county’s 6-cent sales tax by an extra penny.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)

 

Palm Beach County Taxpayer Action Board Opposes Possible Sales Tax Hikes
The Palm Beach County Taxpayer Action Board is urging its supporters to oppose a series of possible sales tax increases that could be on the ballot this fall.
Read More (Palm Beach Post)

 

Top Stories
Book Early for the Civic Association Annual Awards Luncheon Featuring Keynote Speaker Bob Wright
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Wednesday, 03 February 2016 09:46

The Civic Association is pleased to announce Bob Wright as the keynote speaker for the Annual Awards Luncheon at The Breakers.

Bob-Wright-save-the-date-postcard-FINAL

Bob is the Chairman and CEO of the Civic Association, the co-founder of Autism Speaks with his wife Suzanne, and the former vice-chair of GE and president and CEO of NBC.

Bob joined NBC as President and Chief Executive Officer on September 1, 1986 when he was 43, and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal until May 1, 2007. He had one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive, with more than two decades at the helm of one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.

FriendsCast w300During Bob's career, some of the most watched shows were on the air:

  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
  • Cheers
  • Friends
  • Law and Order
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Will and Grace
  • Seinfeld
  • Matlock
  • L.A. Law
  • Quantum Leap
  • The West Wing
  • Many more...


Bob faced a two‐headed dragon: on one hand, distrust from the network people deeply skeptical of the “suit” from GE, their new corporate parent; and on the other, fiscal oversight demands from a cautious, conservative institution reluctant to invest heavily in a media business they didn’t understand. For the next 20 years, he managed to navigate the fine line between the two and in the process completely reinvent ―and save― the network.

Under his leadership, a traditional network, struggling to survive a changing landscape, was transformed into a $45 billion cable and internet giant. Frequently flying under the GE corporate radar, Bob and his hand‐picked team spearheaded what amounts to a revolution in broadcast television.

Suzanne-Bob-Wright-Autism-SpeaksAt almost the exact same time as Bob’s NBC reign was winding down, his grandson Christian was diagnosed with autism, a condition then poorly understood. Baffled by a lack of medical knowledge and community support, Bob and his wife Suzanne founded Autism Speaks, which in short order became the leading advocacy and research funding organization for this mysterious condition that so devastates families. They make a powerful team, the compassionate, charismatic, indefatigable Suzanne who won’t take no for an answer, and the analytic, efficient executive who poured all his business acumen into building an organization from scratch.

Come hear Bob tell his personal story at the Civic Association Annual Luncheon, two weeks before his book "The Wright Stuff" is released.

Click Here For Ticket Prices and Book Online


or Call to Book

561-655-0820

The Civic Association Annual Awards is our fund raising event for the year.

 

Top Stories
Town Square Celebration in Pictures
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Tuesday, 02 February 2016 16:26

The restored Memorial Fountain and redesigned Town Square were dedicated and celebrated by town leaders on Sunday. The Civic Association donated $10,000 toward the cause with other donors across Palm Beach.

Palm Beacher Dragana Connaughton was there to capture the event in pictures.

Photographer: Dragana Connaughton, Special to the Civic Association

 GailConiglio-LoisFrankel
Mayor Gail Coniglio and Congresswoman Lois Frankel taking a selfie!

crowd

 

MayorGailConiglio-BillBone

Mayor Gail Conglio at the podium with Centenial Chairman Bill Bone (light blue tie) seat to the right.


MemorialFountain

Restored Memorial Fountain


PeriodCostumes-Dress

Period Dress


MemorialPark
Memorial Park

Click Here to See the Full Gallery of Photos

 

Top Stories
Undergrounding: How Much Will it Cost Me?
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Tuesday, 02 February 2016 10:03

The Town of Palm Beach unveiled the on-line search tool today at the Undergrounding Task Force meeting so you can see the undergrounding assessment costs for your property.

CostTitleScreen2The search tool will allow you to look up your property address and determine your individual estimated cost of the proposed undergrounding project.

 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO TOWN WEBSITE AND DETERMINE YOUR ESTIMATED COST

 

It's easy. Simply enter your address and click Find. Here's an Example:

CostToolCapture

 

From the Town Website www.UndergroundPalmBeach.com:

Assumptions
  • Assessments are estimated and are subject to change.
  • The assessments provided are annual assessments that will appear on Property Tax bills.
  • The debt service is based on an estimated total debt issue of $90,000,000 for 30 years at an estimated interest rate of 3.81%.
  • Assessments are calculated based on an estimated annual debt service of $5,080,000.
  • The interest rate used in the calculation was based on the AAA General Obligation bond interest rate market which is the lowest long term interest rate available to local governments as of October 2015. The interest rate is subject to change. For example, as of January 28, 2016 the AAA GO Rate was 3.56%.
  • The assessment has been increased by 2% to include the 2% first year charge imposed for the cost of collections by the Palm Beach County Tax Collector and Property Appraiser. In the second year and every year thereafter the cost drops to approximately 1% for Tax Collector administrative charges.
  • The assessment amount assumes that the assessment is paid in November and receives the 4% discount allowed by the Palm Beach County Tax Collector.
Assessment Methodology
  • The methodology is calculated based on the special benefit provided to properties within the Town as a result of undergrounding overhead utilities.
  • The benefits are safety, reliability and aesthetics.
  • The benefits are allocated 40% to safety, 30% to reliability and 30% to aesthetics.
  • The safety factoris based on land use and lot size. Reliability is based on population density factors derived from the 2010 census data and land use. The Aesthetic calculation is based on density factors, lot size and land use.
  • If a property has overhead utilities, then they receive the entire weight of the safety reliability and aesthetic benefits based on their land use and lot size.
  • If a property does not have overhead utilities, the assessment is reduced by 1/2 of the safety and aesthetics benefits and reduced by 1/3 for reliability benefits.
Exempted and Parcels
  • Parcels that have been exempted from the calculation includevacant parcels that are not buildable and/or do not have ANY utility service.
  • The properties located in the Everglades Island and Via Fontana Assessment Districts are exempt from this calculation. They were part of the neighborhood underground program and are already being assessed for their project costs.
  • Also excluded are the properties in the future Lake Towers and Nightingale/LaPuerta underground assessment districts. These properties have opted to pursue their own neighborhood project and will be assessed based on their project costs.
Average Annual Assessments:
$978 or $2.68 Per Day
$356 or $0.98 Per Day

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
Latest Undergrounding News & Information
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Monday, 01 February 2016 11:17

Here's the latest news about Undergrounding in the Town of Palm Beach

powerlines-025-w600

CostTitleScreenHow Much Will Undergrounding Cost You in the Town of Palm Beach?

Get the estimate for your address now.

Read More (Civic Association News)

 

 

Tuesday 2/2/2016: Town To Unveil On-line Search Tool To View Undergrounding Assessment Costs Per Property

The Town of Palm Beach will present the new on-line search tool to view Town-wide undergrounding assessment costs by property at the Tuesday, February 2, 2016, Underground Utilities Task Force meeting. The search tool will allow residents to look up their property address and determine their individual estimated cost of the proposed undergrounding project.

Read More (Town of Palm Beach News)

 

If Palm Beach utilities referendum fails, higher power poles to come

At a recent Underground Utilities Task Force meeting, Councilman Richard Kleid stepped to the microphone and said some residents may find the alternative to burying utility lines — taller, wider poles — unappealing.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

 

UndergroundingWebsite-w600Website to show undergrounding costs for all Palm Beach properties

There’s good news for property owners who’d like to know how much the town-wide burial of utilities would cost them: an online search tool that puts the information at their fingertips.

A database with the assessment figures for every affected property in town will be posted online on Tuesday at www.undergroundpalmbeach.com, said Rick Asnani, registered agent with Cornerstone Solutions, the West Palm Beach agency hired by the town to inform the public about the project.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

 

Undergrounding Success Stories

Local Palm Beach neighborhoods have already completed or are in the process of completing undergrounding. Almost all new master planned communities being built in Florida today have underground utilities.

Completed

  • Everglades Island
  • Via Fontana

In Progress

  • Lake Towers
  • Nightingale(South Side) /La Puerta(North Side)

Other Communities

  • Jupiter Island
  • Abacoa
  • Jupiter Inlet Colony
  • Gulf Stream
  • Golden Beach
  • Sunny Isles
  • Winter Park
  • Longboat Key


A breakdown of the $90 million cost (Source: Town of Palm Beach)

  • Closing costs on bonds: $400,000
  • Engineering: $5.4 million.
  • Contractor management fees: $3.4 million.
  • Legal costs: $4.3 million
  • Survey costs: $1.2 million
  • FPL utility conversion: $27.1 million ($35 million minus a 25 percent discount of $7.9 million).
  • AT&T and Comcast utility conversion: $8.9 million
  • FPL service connections to homes: $10 million.
  • Landscaping: $1.5 million.
  • Asphalt milling and resurfacing: $12.8 million
  • Town’s 20 percent contingency: $14.9 million.


Palm Beach zoning board: Landscaping around new utility boxes should be mandatory

Not every aspect of an underground utility system is actually below ground.

If a town plan to bury all utilities in town is approved by voters in a March 15 referendum, the new system will come with an aesthetic blight of its own: electrical transformer boxes. The transformers — about 4 feet by 4 feet in size — will be situated on concrete pads on residents’ front lawns. Alongside them will be smaller metal boxes necessary for cable television and phone service, town officials have said.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

 

What Other Communities are Doing to Hide Utilitiy Boxes

Calamagrostis peek-a-boo-plants300  hedge-hides-utilitybox

landscape clearprob lg

 

Palm Beach will need easements from homeowners for utilities burial

The town could end up spending thousands to fight residents unwilling to give access to their properties for the town-wide burial of utilities.

Officials need to obtain property easements from about 25 percent of single family homeowners to install above-ground transformers — metal boxes that will sit on concrete pads on the front lawns.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

 

Benefits to Residents

Aesthetics

  • Undergrounding will avoid large FPL “Hardened Poles” throughout the Island and eliminate wooden poles and unsightly power lines.
  • Roads and impacted areas will be restored to previous or better conditions.
  • All powerlines, telephone and cable TV lines will be underground.

Reliability

  • Undergrounding the entire Island provides more reliability than individual project areas.
  • FPL indicates undergrounding provides an increase in reliability and fewer outages.

Safety

  • Removing overhead utilities from our road right-of-ways will provide safer roadways.
  • No hazards or outages from tree limbs hitting overhead lines.


Undergrounding Facebook Page

Click the link below to go the the Town's Undergrounding Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/UndergroundPalmBeach/