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BCC Briefs

At the October 3, 2006, Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board took the following action:

Domestic Partners – agreed to subsidize health insurance benefits for domestic partners of County employees. Beginning January 1, 2007, employees who enroll their partners will be charged the same rates as married employees; domestic partners will also be eligible for the equivalent of COBRA health insurance coverage.

Budget Oversight – approved establishment of a seven-member Budget Advisory Committee to review County budget issues; appointed Commissioner Warren Newell as chair; agreed to consider committee member nominations at the October 24 workshop.

Anti-solicitation Ordinance – directed staff to investigate implementation of an anti-solicitation ordinance similar to the Town of Jupiter’s intended to discourage day laborers from gathering along the side of roadways seeking work.

Recreation – approved a $7.6-million contract with Malphrus Construction to build a 27-hole public golf course at South County Regional Park, part of a $30-million bond-financed park expansion project.

Cypress Creek Natural Area – agreed to purchase two tracts of land totaling approximately 400 acres to expand the Cypress Creek Natural Area. The board approved $22.6 million in bond funds to acquire 251 acres known as the Jupiter Ranch and directed staff to apply for a state loan and state grants to acquire 150 acres formerly known as Renaissance Village at a negotiated price of $16.1 million; postponed to October 24 a decision on acquiring three acres along the Loxahatchee River owned by the Whitesell family in order to notify nearby property owners of planned public uses.

Housing Finance Authority – approved the issuance of $20 million in bonds to purchase and renovate the 192-unit County Lake Apartments complex in suburban West Palm Beach for low and moderate-income housing; transaction does not involve County funds or its credit.

Waterfront Tax Deferral – advertised for public hearing on October 17 an ordinance that would grant an ad valorem tax deferral to owners of recreational and commercial working waterfronts, if the owners are actively operating, rehabilitating or renovating those properties.