Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Group: 363 Lake Worth homeowners pay no property taxes

Click title for link to article. The study may be available soon as it will be discussed at the upcoming City Commission meeting on 9/22. This from the article:

Mayor Rachel Waterman said she does not expect Lake Worth's property values to slide further.

"The people in real estate I talk to tell me they're already seeing positive signs," she said. "No one thinks property values will continue to sink."

Note to the Mayor, a friend told me about someone who just bought a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on North K Street - just north of the elementary school. This property happens to have a pool. It was bought from the bank for $38,000. Its 2010 tax assessed value is $108,000. It does not seem that we have reached the bottom point yet...

At the Commission Work Session - 9/13

Click here for back-up material.  Just got here at 11:00 - they are still on the electric supplier issue.  They are just starting on the beach now.  There are 17 specific items that are funded by the County's bond issue and contained in the Interlocal Agreement.  Representatives from Morganti, Kimley-Horn and Micheal Singer are present.  Mulvehill is asking about a bicycle path around the entire property that would be dedicated for that purpose.  McVoy doesn't like when bike paths just end, with no place to go - bike riders are treated like second class citizens - there should be a clear route for bikes at the beach.  Maxwell would like to restrict the discussion to the budget - the Mayor commented that the amenities are part of the budget.  Margolis confirms that then- Commissioner Jennings negotiated this Interlocal Agreement with the County.  The County is firm on the number of parking spaces provided on the site.  Margolis said the city is submitting status and milestone reports to the County.  "We are the ones that want the world." - the County just wants a nice place with ample parking.  It's the city that wants more.

They are reviewing this list included in the back-up material:

Seawall Guard Rail System – ($187,000) - Jason Bregman from Micheal Singer's office says that this is a cost that is not included.  Stanton jumps in an says that this presentation is "quickly going into the can." She asked if he was working with the team or not and if he was going to be contradicting everything that is being said today.  Micheal Singer is not currently under contract with the city.  The Kimley-Horn representative says that they are not all in complete agreement.  Mayor Waterman says wonders why they aren't looking at a plan with changes as proposed with a total dollar amount.
Entry Signs – ($20,000)
Landscaping- ($50,000)
Path and road material changes – ($310,000) - three types of paths - different types of concrete to asphalt or paver block.
Pedestals – ($37,000)
Solar panels on pavilions – ($28,800)
Cisterns on pavilions – ($26,000)
Small Shade Sails – ($43,000)
Playground equipment – ($25,000)
Pavilion- ($43,000)
Small Trellises- (87,000)
Benches, bike racks, -($63,000)
Road/parking lot construction – ($400,000)

Maxwell asked what the total dollar value of the above is - staff seems not to have the answer immediately.  $1.2 million savings   Mayor Waterman wants to go through the list and see what the differences are - what is being eliminated or reduced.  Maxwell wants a site plan that shows all of the features after the above changes/reductions.  Margolis is trying to get a consensus on what should be changed or taken out of the project.  It's an exercise about what is important to remain in the project - cannot give a totally accurate price at this point.  The project has not been bid out yet.  The estimate has been produced by looking at various alternatives over the past 7 or 8 weeks.  McVoy thinks the guard rail system can be done much cheaper.

Maxwell doesn't know where to begin asking questions.  He remembers that this project was going to be a $5 million project - period.  Now there seems to be all sorts of things that exceed that budget - to have the guard rail system can have such a wide range on just one item.  Mayor Waterman thinks that this process is backward - they need a cost estimate provided that reflects the site plan that was requested.  Stanton says they - staff - need to "Stop and step back."  Commissioner Golden is attending the meeting by phone - she says that the process has been rushed a bit.  Maxwell thinks that Singer should be involved AND paid.  Micheal Singer is o.k. without being paid and focus on the ultimate good of project.  Jason Bregman is insisting on making some comments about "global" issues - they were surprised as much as anyone to the $8 million price reported in the newspaper.  Are we going to talk about the lights?  Stanton - yes.

They will come back next Thursday at 2 p.m.  Maxwell wants the back-up material and PowerPoint 48 hours in advance of the meeting.  Stanton will sign on Micheal Singer formally.