The COASTAL STAR
Manalapan, Boynton compete for Hypoluxo water deal
By Dan Moffett A bidding war for water customers has broken out between Manalapan and Boynton Beach, with some 550 Hypoluxo residents likely to benefit with lower monthly bills and perhaps even better service. For decades, Manalapan has sold water and provided sewer service to residents on the east side of Hypoluxo. The contract between the two municipalities expires in 2020, and Manalapan, to ensure the long-term viability of its plant, wants to lock Hypoluxo into a 30-year deal with an immediate and sizable rate reduction. “What we’re offering is pretty straightforward — an immediate 35 percent rate cut,” said Manalapan’s consultant, Kevin O’Donnell of Nova Energy Consultants in Cary, N.C. “And that goes straight in the bank.” Meanwhile, Boynton Beach has a much larger, growing water operation that is hungry for new business. City Utilities Director Colin Groff says if Hypoluxo switches to Boynton’s system, Hypoluxo residents can expect an immediate 25 percent rate cut, besides the stability and service only a large operator can deliver. “The reason our rates are low is because we have great economies of scale,” Groff said. “We’re able to do things more inexpensively.” O’Donnell and Groff squared off for an amicable debate over their competing proposals during a workshop before the Hypoluxo Town Council on April 19. After longtime Hypoluxo Mayor Ken Schultz died in November, council members decided to postpone a decision on water until his successor was seated after the March election. New Mayor Michael Brown said he intends to continue soliciting input from residents and bring the issue to the council soon. “It is a very important decision,” Brown said. “However, I think we know that both water utilities are very good quality water utilities. It’s not like if we choose one or the other the water quality or service is going to change dramatically.” Groff told the council that size should matter in making the choice. Because it has more than 110,000 customers and dozens of employees, Boynton’s utility can react to emergencies quickly and offer services such as automated metering and online bill paying. He said his utility has an “extremely healthy” balance sheet and a great bond rating that will help deter rate increases. Groff said he expects
customers’ bills to reflect only small upward adjustments for inflation and no large capital projects to force increases for the next 10 years. He said his utility could afford to offer Hypoluxo “inside city rates” that matched the lowest in Boynton. O’Donnell and Manalapan Town Manager Linda Stumpf told the council that being a small utility was actually an asset. With fewer than 900 total customers and seven full-time employees, the town’s utility is able to deliver more personalized service. O’Donnell said Manalapan’s utility is financially secure and the town has no intention to sell it. In quality, Stumpf said the two systems “are very similar and both meet the same standards.” Several residents said
Manalapan’s sudden ability to make deep cuts to rates now suggests that Hypoluxo customers probably have been overpaying for years. Stumpf said reductions are only possible now because Manalapan has recently improved efficiencies in its system and is willing to accept lower rates in exchange for the stability of a long-term deal. Manalapan officials say they were caught off guard by the latest Boynton proposal, which offers a substantially lower rate structure than earlier ones. “These rates are something Manalapan can’t compete with,” Stumpf said. Manalapan Mayor Keith Waters says the town will continue to negotiate with Hypoluxo but also prepare alternative plans for the utility if a deal falls through. Ú
Bit by bit … First it was Nature’s Way Cafe, then Subculture Coffee. The two popular spots on Delray’s Atlantic Avenue closed recently after disputes with landlords. Faced with a reported doubling of the rent, the owner of the Nature’s Way franchise decided to pack up after 10 years. The building’s other tenants remain, however. The property is owned by Hudson Holdings, which also owns Sundy House and several other parcels. Plans call for redeveloping 6 acres west of Swinton and south of Atlantic into Swinton Commons, a multiuse area of shops, offices, ( I N restaurants S T O C Kand ) hotel. Subculture, a spinoff of a West Palm Beach coffee shop operated by coffee roaster Sean A Scott and restaurateur Rodney SELECTION Mayo (Dada, Honey OFand OUR others), moved into the space at PANTS 123 E. Atlantic twoONLY... years ago. But relations with the Miamibased landlord never went well. S The landlord sued and won. BLAZER He’s looking for a new tenant and Mayo and Scott are looking for a new nook, but not before they left a parting shot on Subculture’s Facebook page: OFFERING “After a 2-year battle with ALTERATIONS our landlord over a small JEAN AT COST technicality in S our lease, we are being forced to leave and find a new location. Unfortunately, along Shirts, with theTrousers dramatic & increase in property values in Shorts, Jackets, Vests Delray, comes greedy landlords looking for any excuse to kick out existing despite TROUSER SHOP & tenants SHORTS them paying rent on time. It is 439 E. Atlantic aAve. •Delray Beach shame the independent spirit and feel that launched Atlantic 561.278.5626 Ave. and Delray is now being Open Wed-Sat 10am-5pm, evenings 10pm pushedFri aside for the ‘til corporate
RETIREMENT INVENTORY CLEARANCE LUCKY SIZES
culture of Starbucks and iPic theaters. During season, pedestrians can cover distance faster than the traffic moving at idle speed along two-lane Atlantic, which won’t be 15 News widened. Bruce Gimmy, who has run The Trouser Shop on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach for 32 years, will be leaving for a different reason: retirement. He is looking for someone to take over the traditional retail business that he loves. At age 74, he says he’s ready “to fulfill my bucket list of travel to Australia, New Zealand, Gimmy China, South American and the United Kingdom... to be my spouse’s yard man!” And his tailor, Jana Roza, is leaving for a good government job. Gimmy’s shop features resort wear, Fancies (patterns and seer-suckers) shorts, regular and long-rise shorts and pants, blazers and made-in-the-USA shirts. His shop is known as “fit specialists” because of the custom tailoring offered. “The perfect [owner] candidate would be a successful men’s retailer up north who would like a Florida store on busy Atlantic Avenue,” Gimmy said. “Seasonally they could ship leftover summer garments from the Northern store south to catch the Florida season and then vice versa.” Reprinted from The Coastal Star, April, 2017
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This place is a Pig-Sty, and that’s g
Annual Christmas Card 2005 showing damage to storefront from Hurricane Wilma, October 24, 2005
1053 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483 (561) 272-4545
The Plate: Turkey sandwich The Place: Pig-Sty BBQ, 706 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach; 810-5801. The Price: $6.99 The Skinny: When it comes to barbecue, my favorite fare is smoked turkey. When it’s prepared properly, the results are sublime. At Pig-Sty, pit master Bryan Tyrell brings out the juicy nuances of turkey while giving the meat just a kiss of oak smoke. Pig-Sty, in a strip center just west of Interstate 95, also offers juicy brisket, ribs, pulled pork, smoked ham, chicken and sausage, among other things. I’ve enjoyed the light, crispy onion rings, and savored a small order of the creamy coleslaw.
Open Tuesday thru Saturday 10am-4:30pm ~ Through June 2017
Tyrell’s sauces also sit up an flavorful mild sauce and a sligh one. I love my sauces, but it’s th always keeps me coming back.
George and Mary Kientzy
Serving Coastal Delray Beach and north to Hypoluxo Island