The first three rows were filled with kids in city council chambers Tuesday. A lesson in government at work for Verde Elementary’s student council.
The mayor, council and visiting District 89 state Rep. Mike Caruso answered their questions. Then Caruso detailed what just happened in Tallahassee’s legislative session, his first as an elected official. See his Boca budget highlights at the end of the story.
Here’s what council passed that could affect you:
· Parking Meter Zone for 251 spaces downtown. Bounded by East Palmetto Park Road, Southeast Mizner Boulevard, Federal Highway, Southeast 11th Street and Dixie Highway. This was a quickie by government standards. Meters were only OK’d three weeks ago. No installation timeline yet.
· Restaurants and businesses encouraged to reduce single-use plastic items like straws, retail bags and foam containers. The city backed off a plastic straw ban on March 26.
“We didn’t do a ban but a hefty recommendation,” councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke said Tuesday.
· Amending the budget to take $650,000 out of reserves to make much-needed repairs to Town Hall. On the National Register of Historic Places, it’s the city’s official welcome center and home of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum. The first ask was last July and the presentation was in November.
“We will contribute as well, but we consider this the landlord’s responsibility,” said Mary Csar, executive director. “This building comes first.” Next up, hiring a subcontractor. Then a total exhibit upgrade. Architect Derek Vander Ploeg did the design work.
· Bridge repairs at Camino Gardens for $363,605. No scheduled start date, but no closings are scheduled, said city manager Leif Ahnell. The repairs should take 180 days, he said.
· New temporary elementary school near Don Estridge Middle School ground lease amended for construction of operation. The school district facility will serve Verde and Addison Mizner students during their school rebuilds.
Here’s Caruso’s budget highlights:
· $11.5 million Florida Atlantic University’s A.D. Henderson Lab School
· $300,000 JARC Community Works
· $325,000 Wayne Barton Study Center After-School Program
· $500,000 Alzheimer’s Community Care Critical Support Initiative
· $12 million FAU 100
· $150,000 Boca Raton Museum of Art
· $159,250 Ruth Rales Transportation Services
By Marci Shatzman