By Jane Smith
Boynton Beach will host another workshop on its Town Square project, but this time commissioners have agreed to save the historic high school as part of the 16.5-acre development.
The Town Square discussion threatened to overwhelm the 2017 planning session held by Boynton Beach on June 25. So, commissioners agreed to host another workshop on Town Square “to get some teeth into the plan,” said Commissioner Joe Casello.
The city commission will decide the workshop date at their July 5 meeting.
The four-block Town Square, bounded by Boynton Beach Boulevard on the north and Seacrest Boulevard on the west, houses mainly municipal buildings: City Hall, library, old high school, police headquarters, fire station No. 1, Kids Kingdom Playground, Schoolhouse Children’s Museum, Civic Center, Arts Center and shuffleboard courts.
City commissioners also want to discuss asking voters to approve a $25 million bond to move the police headquarters and fire station No. 1 out of Town Square onto land at the northeast intersection of North Seacrest Boulevard and Northeast Sixth Avenue. The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency owns that parcel.
The city would build a 25,000-square-foot, three-story headquarters for the Police Department and a firehouse could easily be added, said Colin Groff, new assistant city manager.
“Putting the public safety complex there would work,” Casello said. “And it would help jump-start the Heart of Boynton area.”
The date of that discussion also will be determined at the July 5 meeting. At the planning session, commissioners also decided to create a policy to cover special events and monthly happenings. “We want Boynton-centric events,” said new Commissioner Justin Katz. “We don’t want secondhand events rejected by Delray Beach.”
Garlic Fest was mentioned by three Boynton Beach city commissioners who scoffed at the idea of accepting an event that may be rejected by Delray Beach. Delray’s City Commission will revisit Garlic Fest’s appeal on July 5.
Boynton Beach commissioners want to expand Pirate Fest, held in October; possibly turn the biennial Kinetics Art Exhibit and Symposium into an annual event, and maybe add a Boynton Brews Fest. Ocean Avenue in the Town Square plan would be a festival street that can be closed to vehicle traffic.
On the next level of priorities set at the planning session, new Commissioner Christina Romelus proposed a review of parking alternatives at the city’s Oceanfront Park. Currently parking revenue goes to Boynton Beach, but money from parking fines goes to Ocean Ridge. The relationship dates back to the 1930s, when Ocean Ridge was created from Boynton Beach, said Vice Mayor Mack McCray.
By Jane Smith