Palm Beach County Appraiser Nikolits files to join Fane Lozman’s “address” suit vs. Riviera Beach

Lozman
Lozman
Nikolits
Nikolits

Gadfly Fane Lozman has a new supporter in his court fight demanding Riviera Beach assign an address for his Singer Island property. Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits Friday filed a court motion to join Lozman’s suit.

Nikolits told The Palm Beach Post Friday he’s acting based on a concept that sounds like a technicality but which is a legal imperative of his post: he needs a place to send his bill.

Lozman's house sinks in August
Lozman’s house sinks in August

 

Riviera Beach City Attorney Andrew DeGraffenreidt did not immediately return a call Friday.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Palm Beach County Inspector General audit critical of Loxahatchee Groves

OIGLoxahatchee Groves’ contract with its town manager “did not align with the town charter and creates risks for the town,” the Palm Beach County Inspector General said Friday in an audit report that said it found more than $200,000 in questioned costs, and identified “deficiencies and compliance issues.”

The town, which turns 10 next month, contracts out all government services to a private firm.

The Inspector General’s audit,which covered budget years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, identified problems with contractor monitoring, overseeing the contract of Town Manager William Underwood, purchasing and credit card use, payment processing, and asset management.

Town Manager Bill Underwood did tell Inspector General John Carey, in a letter dated Tuesday, and included with the audit, that Carey’s office doesn’t understand well the concept of contracted municipal services. He said Carey’s report “cherry picks” selected documents.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Commission approves comprehensive plan changes for Indian Trails Grove

Palm Beach County commissioners voted 6-1 Thursday in favor of comprehensive plan changes GL Homes sought for its Indian Trails Grove project west of The Acreage.

Commissioners had given preliminary approval of those changes in April. Zoning changes for the 3,900-home project will be addressed early next year.

Check back with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later today for more on this story.

map of Indian Trails Grove project
map of Indian Trails Grove project

 

County approves Wawa gas station despite opposition

Palm Beach County commissioners approved zoning and land use changes Thursday that will allow a Wawa gas station and eatery to be built at Hypoluxo and High Ridge roads.

Commissioners approved the changes despite intense and broad opposition to the station. County staff members received 649 calls opposing the station with many citing concerns about increases in traffic, noise, pollution and crime.

Check back with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later for more on this story.

A Wawa convenience store and gas station is coming to Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road.
A Wawa convenience store and gas station is coming to Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road.

 

Check out the new animal lovers specialty license plate

animalfriends_samplAnimal lovers who want a specialty plate have a new look.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Thursday displayed its redesigned “Animal Friend” specialty license plate. It will be delivered to tax collector and tag agency offices and available by Oct. 7.

Find locations at https://www.flhsmv.gov/locations.

You’ll pay a $25 specialty plate fee on top of other registration fees.

As of Sept. 1, Florida has 19,589 registered Animal Friend plates. They’ve been available since April 2005.  Money goes to Florida Animal Friend, Inc., to pay for spay and neuter programs.

For a list of Florida’s specialty license plates, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/specialtytags/.

Event Sunday in Palm Beach Shores will honor murder victims

070115-ga-murder-3-5A local ceremony to mark the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims is set for 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Palm Beach Shores Community Center, 90 Edwards Lane in Palm Beach Shores.

Speakers will include relatives and friends of murder victims as well as Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg, Delray Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Goldman, Palm Beach Shores Mayor Myra Koutzen, and a detective from the violent crimes division of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

A PBSO helicopter will drop a wreath into the nearby Atlantic Ocean as a remembrance of murder victims.

The Palm Beach Victims’ Rights Coalition, which is hosting the event, encouraged victims’ survivors, or those who wish to support survivors, to attend.

Call 561-355-2418 or, on the day of the event, 561-309-8173.

County to consider Wawa application amid strong opposition

Palm Beach County commissioners on Thursday will consider an application to allow a Wawa gas station/eatery to be built at Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road.

The gas station project has generated intense opposition from some in the area. Backup material provided to commissioners notes that county staff members received 648 calls opposing the project and 66 in favor of it.

Supporters have touted Wawa’s reputation and community involvement. Opponents have said they fear the station will increase traffic, crime and pollution.

The Palm Beach County Zoning Commission voted in favor of the project at its meeting on September 1.

The gas station project is on the zoning agenda county commissioners will take up at 9:30 a.m. Thursday on the sixth floor of the Weisman Governmental Center located at 301 N. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach.

Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

South Florida Water Management District OKs new budget with no tax rate increase

nckrnyt9Tax rates for the South Florida Water Management District won’t go up for a sixth straight year.

On Tuesday in West Palm Beach, the 16-county district’s governing board approved a $726.6 million budget for 2016-2017 in which property owners will pay $33.07 per $100,000 of taxable land value, the agency said in a release.

The budget comes from a mix of property taxes and other income from local, state and federal sources, as well as fees, investments and farming taxes.

About 85 percent of the budget goes for flood control, operations and maintenance of lands, as well as ongoing restoration goals. That includes $54.1 million for the next phases of an $880 million plan to improve Everglades water quality. The release said the budget contains $234 million in state money to accelerate restoration projects.

County to hold public hearing on Indian Trails Grove project

Palm Beach County is holding a public hearing Thursday on GL Homes’ Indian Trails Groves project west of The Acreage.

The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on the sixth floor of the Weisman Governmental Center located at 301 N. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach.

The 3,900-home project got support last week from the board of supervisors of the Indian Trail Improvement District, which provides water, drainage and road services in the area. Supervisors voted to send a conditional letter of support for the project to county commissioners, who themselves have already voted in favor of preliminary approval.

Backers of the project say it will provide more housing to a growing county and commercial development to an area in need of it.

Opponents, meanwhile, argue that the project will threaten the environment, reduce open space and snarl traffic.

PostonGrowth Post on Growth sig

 

 

Palm Tran Connection hires new director

hockman
Hockman

Palm Tran Connection, Palm Beach County’s call-ahead bus service for the elderly, disabled and ill, has a new director.

Chad Hockman, whose official title will be Senior Manager of Paratransit, starts Thursday. He’ll be formally introduced at Thursday afternoon’s meeting of the Palm Tran Service Board, the agency’s advisory group.

Hockman will oversee a staff of 75 and a $30 million budget, Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes said Wednesday in a release.

The Ohio State University graduate worked for the college, then spent 13 years at a private paratransit provider that worked in six Midwestern and southern States.

Hockman will earn $107,000.  His predecessor, Ron Jones, had earned $115,000.

In May, Forbes, who had been Palm Tran director since November, demoted Jones and accepted the resignation of  Palm Tran deputy director, and former director, Chuck Cohen.

And in June, he contracted with a private firm to provide an interim director for the troubled subsidiary and reassigned two supervisors of the Connection’s scheduling operation. In late March, a Palm Beach County Inspector General report had said the Connection was doctoring on-time statistics.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.