The Coastal Star

Boynton Beach: City outlines penny-tax improvement projects

By Jane Smith

Boynton Beach will use $500,000 from its penny tax proceeds during the next fiscal year to upgrade the eastern end of Boynton Beach Boulevard, the city’s public works director said July 16.

Andrew Mack told city commissioners on the second day of a two-day budget workshop that the project would run east from Federal Highway to the eastern edge of the pond located between the Casa Costa condominiums and the mangroves — a distance of about 850 feet.

The project will enhance the secondary entrance to the city marina, he said. The primary entrance is off Ocean Avenue just west of the Intracoastal Waterway bridge.

The project includes removing existing planters, landscape and sidewalks and replacing these with new landscape islands and sidewalks. It also includes adding more street and walkway lighting and adding an irrigation system. The city also wants to add on-street parking in that area. Depending on the design chosen for the parking, between 10 and 30 spaces will be added, Mack said.

Overall, Boynton Beach will spend $7.06 million of its penny tax proceeds on 91 projects during the next financial year, which begins Oct. 1, Mack said. Other projects include $1.4 million for information technology and $878,500 for improvements at the Ezell Hester Community Center on Seacrest Boulevard.

In the Nov.  8, 2016, election, Palm Beach County voters approved the extra penny on the 6-cent sales tax. The money began flowing into city coffers in March 2017 and will end on Dec. 31, 2026.

The cash is doled out by city population, giving the three largest South County cities (Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach) the most money. The county receives about 30 percent of the money from the extra cent sales tax and the school district gets the largest share at 50 percent.

The money the cities receive can be spent only on repairing or building new roads, sewers, water lines, fire stations or park improvements.

In other news at the budget workshop, Mack discussed doing a feasibility study for a pedestrian bridge over Federal Highway to link senior center activities at the historic Boynton Beach Woman’s Club and a parking area on the west side of Federal.

The state Department of Transportation would have to approve the bridge because Federal Highway is controlled by the state, he said.

Mack said if the state approves it, the pedestrian bridge would help solve the parking problems at the Woman’s Club, which the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency owns. Ú

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