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Publisher Letter

September Letter from the Publisher

Hello Boca!

It’s Peter Gary, publisher of the Boca Voice. Welcome to the September edition of our monthly newsletter.

We’re writing this as Dorian bears down on us and we’re scrambling to prepare. We’re not only protective of our own property, but our great city of Boca Raton. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until this is over.

For a quick lookback, I’m sure you noticed traffic and restaurants were busier than usual in August as the city transitions to 24/7.

The city’s social life was active in August, too. Boca Chamber just wrapped 22 well-attended Boca Chamber Festival Days charity fundraisers. They started as a way to keep people involved when Boca was just a sleepy little town.

Now city council has a lot on its plate, looking forward in a pro-growth environment.

Brightline/Virgin Trains, a private company, is expected to flesh out proposals for a train station in Boca. There’s no timeline, but a lot of pressure from the public, mostly pro but some con.

And something has to give with the new public golf course. We reported the city just postponed the sale of the municipal course to GL Homes for at least another year. The mayor said they’re determined to keep golf in Boca until the situation with the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District is resolved. The district and city are at odds over the design and cost of construction.

So with those two big projects pending, the timing was right for a newly organized group to float the idea of a performing arts center downtown. Or, as one benefactor said: After nearly 28 years, why is Boca Ballet Theatre still using high schools to perform?

The Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corp.’s eyeing the long vacant lot next to the city’s Mizner Park Amphitheater. That would help bring all the arts group together and put the city on the map culturally, they contend.

Council formally endorsed their efforts. But so far hasn’t deeded the land or added funds to the half-million seed money. With plans for the new municipal complex on hold, this could have staying power.

Swinging into fall, September is when taxpayers get to weigh in on proposed budgets and tax rates before they’re passed.

The city’s public tentative budget hearings are Sept. 9 and 23 in council chambers in city hall. The beach and park district’s first hearing is Sept. 11 in the new boardroom at the Swim & Racquet Center.

Let’s see how all of this works out, and keep your fingers crossed with Dorian.

Peter Gary

 

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