Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Presentation by the City Manager and staff: Upcoming November 8th bond referendum to fix our roads

Please Note: The next presentation will be this Thursday starting at 6:30 at C.W.S. (located at 522 Lucerne Ave.).

Lake Worth's Parrot Cove and Mango Groves neighborhoods teamed up last night (10/17) in a meeting at the Beach Club restaurant. There was a report from PBSO, other neighborhood business, then the main event: a presentation on the November 8th bond referendum.

Note: The videos (2) of this presentation along with the Q&A session that followed are at the end of this blog post. Have questions about the bond? Send an email to: RoadBond@lakeworth.org

In the first video, City Manager Michael Bornstein introduces his team at the City and the engineer involved in the condition survey of our roadway network. He also reminded those assembled (a rather large crowd) about Hurricane Matthew and the City's efforts during the storm. He has received heaps of praise how the City performed, particularly relating to the Electric Utility: above and beyond expectations.

Lake Worth was able to keep the power on despite the expectation we would experience widespread power outages (only the College Park neighborhood had an outage of any significance). It's justified those involved take a "victory lap." He also gave credit to the "wobble" in the storm's path that lessened the potential impact in this area.

Regardless of where you stood on the previous bond vote back in 2014 you need to watch these videos. The whole process by which the condition of the existing road network is reviewed. Also addressed is how the City will maintain the road system when upgraded. Engineer Brent Whitfield describes the investment it takes to maintain a road system and explains how this process will work over time.

Many very good questions were asked by those in attendance. The feedback in the room I've received was this was one of the most informative presentations given on the bond issue.

We were reminded once again, in answer to a question, the City of Lake Worth has no debt related to the General Fund. The debt it does have comes from the utility side of operations. That money was used to fortify our electric distribution system (we experienced that benefit during Hurricane Matthew) and also funded the City's reverse osmosis plant. The City Manager was quick to point out that debt is paid off through utility revenues and did not require a vote of the electorate.

The bond issue on the ballot this November is a general obligation bond that requires a referendum of the electorate to approve. A very important distinction.

A big Thank You to The Beach Club for being such wonderful hosts. The two videos: