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RPBHS GRAD A NATIONAL DEBATE CHAMP SEE STORY, PAGE 7 CAMPERS VISIT OKEE NATURE CENTER SEE PHOTOS, PAGE 11 THE TOWN - CR IER WELLINGTON • ROYAL PALM BEACH • LOXAHATCHEE • THE ACREAGE Your Community Newspaper INSIDE Wellington Council OKs Daycare Center At School On SR 7 Volume 34, Number 27 July 5 - July 11, 2013 ZOLET ART CAMP IN WELLINGTON The planned Wellington Charter School will also include a daycare center after members of the Wellington Village Council approved a resolution last week to allow the project’s daycare component. The daycare facility is part of the larger, 1,200student school for kindergarteners through eighth-graders. Page 3 County Initial OK For Animal Waste Controls In a zoning meeting last week, the Palm Beach County Commission gave preliminary approval to changes in its animal waste and manure regulations aimed in part to improve control over uncontrolled dumping of animal waste in unincorporated areas such as The Acreage. Page 7 Zolet Arts Academy held a summer art camp from Monday, June 24 through Thursday, June 27 in the original Wellington Mall. Children were instructed in a wide variety of art mediums. Shown here, Gianana Morris, Alex Blanchard, Zoe Leitner and Alyssa Cavallo create dinosaur-themed scratch art. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 9 PHOTO BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN/TOWN-CRIER Royal Palm Rotary Installs New Board The Royal Palm Beach Rotary Club held its annual awards dinner and induction of its 201314 officers on Saturday, June 29. Awards were given out and new officers were installed, including Selena Smith as president. Page 9 South Beach Tanning Company Celebrates Wellington Location South Beach Tanning Company held a grand opening on Saturday, June 29 f or its new location in the Pointe at Wellington Green. Page 10 OPINION Tougher Dumping Rules Needed, But Enforcement Is Key Last week, the Palm Beach County Commission gave initial approval to changes meant to shield residents from uncontrolled animal waste dumping. The issue has brought out people on all sides — from farmers and waste haulers, to annoyed neighbors and those with small backyard farms worried about meeting regulations. Though not perfect, these changes are necessary to protect our communities. Page 4 DEPARTMENT INDEX NEWS ............................. 3 - 11 OPINION .................................4 CRIME NEWS ......................... 6 NEWS BRIEFS........................ 8 SCHOOLS ............................ 12 PEOPLE ............................... 13 COLUMNS .................... 19 - 20 BUSINESS .................... 21 - 23 ENTERTAINMENT ................ 25 SPORTS ........................ 29 - 31 CALENDAR ...................32 - 33 CLASSIFIEDS ................ 34 - 37 Visit Us On The Web At WWW.GOTOWNCRIER.COM Proposed Royal Palm Budget Leaves Tax Rate Unchanged By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report Royal Palm Beach staff presented their proposed budget to the Royal Palm Beach Village Council on Tuesday. The proposed budget keeps the current property tax rate of 1.92 mills unchanged. At the rate of 1.92 mills per $1,000 of taxable value, a Royal Palm Beach taxpayer with a property valued at $175,000, less a $50,000 homestead exemption, would pay $240 in taxes to the village next year. Village Manager Ray Liggins said that this year is the first time in several years that property values in Royal Palm Beach have increased. According to the Property Appraiser’s Office, the village’s gross taxable value rose from $1.80 billion to $1.87 billion over the past year. “It would appear the negative side of this revenue is over and should continue to rise in future years,” Liggins said, adding that most other major revenues, including state shared revenues, are anticipated to increase slowly. Liggins added that it was not necessary to tap into the $5.5 mil- lion tax rate stabilization fund that had been authorized by the council earlier this year to balance the budget. The budget increases the level of service in safety with the addition of a motorcycle patrol unit to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office District 9 substation — an initiative requested by Capt. Paul Miles. The budget also increases recreation services with the opening of Royal Palm Beach Commons Park and all the programming planned for that facility. Finance Director Stan Hochman said the total budget proposed is $32.5 million, with 62 percent of that being in the general operating budget, 21 percent in the general capital budget, 10 percent in reserves, 5 percent in debt service and 2 percent in the stormwater utility budget. “This year the economy is rebounding,” Hochman said. “For the first time in six years, our property values are up.” Total revenues have increased by $988,000, while total operating expenses increased by $924,205, he said. The general fund revenue sum- mary is $22.59 million, with miscellaneous taxes and fees accounting for 24 percent, property taxes 16 percent, licenses and permits 13 percent, intergovernmental revenues 15 percent, charges for services 2 percent, fines and forfeitures 1 percent, miscellaneous revenues 5 percent, current year fund balance 11 percent, and transfers in 13 percent. For expenditures, personal services account for 36 percent and contractual services 37 percent, which is primarily the PBSO contract. “We’re looking here at 73 percent personal services,” Hochman said. Other charges and services make up 13 percent, commodities 3 percent, debt service 7 percent and transfers out 4 percent. Merit raises are programmed at an average of 2 percent for all employees, with a cost-of-living adjustment of 1.8 percent. For position additions and deletions, Hochman said Public Works is deleting one foreman while Parks & Recreation is adding two part-time building attenSee RPB BUDGET, page 14 Lox Council Tables Discussion On Hiring Engineering Teams By Anne Checkosky Town-Crier Staff Report The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council voted Tuesday to wait until their July 16 meeting to make decisions on whether to hire a town engineer, traffic engineer and surveyor. “We have two of the three contracts ready, but it’s not a major problem to wait until July 16,” Town Manager Mark Kutney said. Town staff had prepared reports, including fee schedules, regarding the engineering firm Keshavarz & Associates based in West Palm Beach and Simmons & White, a traffic engineering firm also based in West Palm Beach, which they plan to recommend the council hire. The staff did not have a report prepared on the recommended surveying firm. “To move forward, we need to go on faith on some things,” Councilman Jim Rockett said. But Mayor Dave Browning said he needed more time to look over staff recommendations on all three firms. “I’d like to have a continuance,” he said. Councilman Ryan Liang agreed. “Let’s just put it off rather than trying to have a 20-minute discussion now,” he said. Kutney said that rate-wise, the engineering and traffic firms were in line. Two projects he would like the firms to get started on are dealing with the traffic signal at D Road and Okeechobee Blvd. and reviewing the new flood maps proposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Kutney said. According to staff reports, Keshavarz & Associates can provide general town engineering services such as consultation and civil engineering design, environmental engineering services and civil engineering inspection services. Simmons & White can provide arterial analysis, traffic signal design and review, and prepare traffic studies, among other duties. Both firms would be retained on a monthly basis, and the terms of the agreements would run for three consecutive years. The agreements could be terminated after 90 days by either party. The motion to table discussion to July 16 was unanimous. Serving Palms West Since 1980 Residents Complain About Weeds In Royal Palm Canals By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report Complaints by several residents about excessive weeds in canals led to protracted discussion about weed control at the Royal Palm Beach Village Council meeting Tuesday. Ronald Blicksilver of Van Gogh Way said the weeds in canals were particularly troublesome considering that the village was scheduling several fishing and boating events for the Fourth of July celebration on Thursday. He pointed out that the aquatic weed control contractor had applied herbicide that killed the weeds but that the dying plants floated to the surface, making the canals impassable before they are harvested by the contractor. “The canals look like death warmed over,” Blicksilver said. “Can we please pick some other time of the year when you have less than 48 hours for that fishing contest? It’s almost impossible to get boats down most of the canals. If there’s anything that can be done to expedite it or plan it differently so that it doesn’t happen this time of the year, it would be greatly appreciated.” Blicksilver added that the odor of the chemicals put in the canal to kill the weeds and grass is overwhelming. Village Manager Ray Liggins said Blicksilver had summed up the situation well. “There is a lot of growth, and it’s a mess,” Liggins said. “Unfortunately, the way the canals are, how small they are and how shallow they are, the lack of depth, we have some enormous growth, and with this warm weather, it does get that way.” Liggins said the contractor has been doing aggressive spraying See WEEDS, page 14 BEST OF BROADWAY The Wellington Children’s Theatre Musical Theatre Camp Players presented “The Best of Broadway” on Saturday, June 29 at Wellington High School. The children learned songs and routines from classic Broadway shows over the three-week summer camp and performed for family and friends. Shown here, Jayna Manohalal as Peter Pan is joined by the cast singing “I Won’t Grow Up.” MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 10 PHOTOS BY LAUREN MIRÓ/TOWN-CRIER Grace Period For Extended Business Hours Ends July 15 By Anne Checkosky Town-Crier Staff Report Business owners within 300 feet of residential properties in Wellington who want to keep operating after hours have until July 15 to file an application to do so without being charged. After then, an extended-hours-of-operation permit application will require a $500 fee. The new code for these businesses sets indoor activity hours from 5 a.m. to midnight and outdoor activities from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Those wanting a later closing or an earlier opening will require a permit. In addition, business activities later than 2 a.m. will require Wellington Village Council approval. Since the 60-day grace period for the extended-hours permit began back in May, seven businesses applied for and were granted extended-hours permits, said Bill Nemser, principal planner for the village. “We were trying to be businessfriendly and reasonable,” Nemser said regarding the grace period. But the seven businesses that were approved weren’t just rubber-stamped, either. Each application was reviewed separately and some conditions were put in place, he said. For example, the application for one business was granted as long the owners agreed to cease outdoor service by 11 p.m. In another example, parking would be for employees only after a certain time, Nemser said, adding that in all seven cases, the businesses were aware they were out of compliance with the old code. Wellington Chamber of Commerce President Victor Connor is a little concerned, however, that not all businesses affected by the rules change are aware they are subject to it. He thought the 60day grace period was on the short side. Nemser doesn’t anticipate an See BIZ HOURS, page 4 ITID’s Dunkley Sees Positives In District Upheaval By Ron Bukley Town-Crier Staff Report After seven months on the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors and the recent resignation of former District Administrator Tanya Quickel, followed by a number of subsequent staff resignations, Supervisor Gary Dunkley told the Town-Crier this week that he is not worried. “As a new member of the board, I am pleased at the direction we’re going in, in terms of putting more focus on rebuilding our infrastructure,” Dunkley said Monday. “I’m sorry that Tanya Quickel left, but the administration budget was way, way too high.” Dunkley, who serves as the board’s treasurer, early on called for a forensic audit of ITID’s books. He said the audit is aimed at no one in particular. “Since I was the treasurer and I heard certain things that I wasn’t sure of, and it is not my money, I have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that everything was correct,” Dunkley said, noting that he seconded the call for an audit originally made by Supervisor Carol Jacobs. “Seven months later, we still don’t have a forensic audit.” At a more recent meeting, Dunkley made another motion for a forensic audit, which he hopes will gain traction. “I don’t think anything is wrong with the books, but I think that when a new adminis- trator gets in, we should have a level playing field,” he said. As part of the forensic audit, Dunkley said he wants the board to review the function of all the district’s departments. “After the forensic audit, we’re going to have an active evaluation of each department to find out their functions and find out what they do so we can make policies that go forward,” he said. “We can’t make policies on our departments if we don’t know what our departments are doing. So, little by little, I just think we are making things realistic. It’s rough in the beginning, but the direction that we’re going in is a very positive direction.” Although Dunkley does not support Jacobs’ advocacy of a weaker administrative position, he does believe the administrative budget is too high. “The administrative budget was $1.2 million,” he said. “I’ve owned businesses for over 30 years, and I really can’t justify why administrative expense is 30 percent of our budget. That doesn’t make sense to me. That’s what I mean by topheavy. We really have to dissect each department and understand the responsibilities and functions.” Asked whether he thought Quickel did not share departmental information freely enough with See DUNKLEY, page 14 Supervisor Gary Dunkley

Town-Crier Newspaper July 5, 2013

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