By: Sharon Aron Baron
The 2014 budget was completed on Thursday evening during the second and final hearing. The good news is the millage rate remained the same as 2013. The bad news is that our parks are still closed on Mondays, although the city will open them up on federal holidays.
All parks, including the Gary B. Jone Dog Park will now be open on federal and school holidays that fall on Mondays, but this only amounts to five federal holidays and two school holidays per year. After two years of writing about the residents getting gypped with these Monday closures, our elected officials just don’t seem to have the fight left in them to push for our residents.
Even though they chose not to open our parks on Mondays, on September 11 the commission voted to spend $2 million to purchase the bank building and land on the corner of Northwest 94th Avenue and Commercial Boulevard where they expect to close within 45 days. This will be more property for the future “Tamarac Village” that has been in the planning for years.
One resident spoke out at the meeting and asked the Mayor and the Commissioners to consider opening the parks as well as considering lowering their excessive $700 monthly car allowances. They did not response nor did they make a motion to change the budget.
Does the fact that we are the lone city that took a temporary measure to close our parks due budget cuts, never opening back up again concern them?
None of them have children, nor do they go to our dog park. I’ve never seen them there.
Sadly, our residents were just thrown a bone by our elected officials, and we’ll just have to chew on it until election time.
Here are some of the items included in the new budget:
- Hiring of a new Associate Planner
- $163,00 costs in additional employees
- Pressure washing program – Tamarac Talk Recommendation
- Park openings on Mondays for holidays Tamarac Talk Recommendation but still not good enough
- $1.5 million for Red Light Cameras – includes two additional BSO employees. Will write more about this later.
Improvements in the City:
- $210,000 Boat Dock at Veterans Park (partially funded by a grant)
- New Fence for Broward Sheriff’s Office Building on Pine Island Drive
- Highway beautification at the Turnpike and Commercial which is primarily funded by a grant with the state
- Switching out one of the athletic fields with artificial turf
- Rebuilding Fire station #78
- Several utility projects