This article has been updated to include the price and source of water.
By: Jen Russon
A water main break in Ft. Lauderdale impacted residents in Tamarac, who live east of 441 after a contractor damaged the system this month. The damage was cited as a result of the contractor being unaware of a critical water line buried where workers planned to dig more than a week ago.
City officials said the contractor supplied the wrong address of the dig, and that misinformation ultimately led to cutting service for 220,000 residents, as well as days of boil-water orders.
However, due to the efforts of Tamarac’s Vice Mayor Debra Placko and City Commissioner, Marlon Bolton, residents were able to keep calm and drink on. News of the water main damage broke on July 18 and was immediately met with water distribution efforts by Placko, Bolton, and staff they call “the Tamarac Team.”
In a two-day time frame, Placko and Bolton distributed 4,032 bottles of water, as well as 384 gallons of water (in jugs) to residents in the Tamarac Lakes 1 and 2 communities.
Purchased at Home Depot and Crystal Water, the water, totaling approximately $1,900, was paid for by the city of Tamarac.
“Commissioner Bolton, this is what I’m talking about. People coming together as a community,” wrote Raymond Hicks on Facebook who witnessed, along with his neighbors, what unity looked like when water was lacking, and temperatures soared over 95 degrees.
Hicks was referring to a dispensary sight set up to serve those living in eastern Tamarac. He and other residents describe collecting bottled water and using it to brush their teeth, wash their dishes, and reserve some of the water for their thirsty pets.
“I could only imagine what my residents felt having their lives disrupted like this,” said Commissioner Marlon Bolton, adding he was grateful to Placko, who took time out from also serving as city commissioner of District 4, to help distribute clean water.
Commissioner Bolton, who is also a senior pastor at Praise Outreach Experience Church, said that within moments of hearing about the water main break, his staff at the city was on top of getting water supplied to the parts of his community in need, and Placko was there to expedite the response.
Bolton also kept the lines of communication open on social media, keeping Tamarac residents informed of when it was safe to resume consumption, with tags such as #TamaracCares #BoltonOnTheMove and #Parks&Rec. The Jamaican born commissioner, who is also a father and husband, peppers his communication with the word love.
“I’m definitely preaching on it on Sunday,” said Bolton, adding that he believes Placko agrees about helping others.
“We understand, as community leaders, we have to show people we care, and this is the least we could do,” said Bolton.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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