Delray Beach: CRA picks firm to analyze tax values

By Jane Smith
    
    This time, the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency commissioners were unanimous at their late August meeting in awarding a $59,000 contract to analyze taxable values in each of its eight subareas.
    The contract went to the low bidder, Munilytics Inc. of Davie. The firm also had the shortest estimated completion time — two months — when it was selected in July.
    The analysis will be done in three parts. Part A will include: Establish a base year value of each subarea when the CRA was formed in 1985, establish current year value, project values for each subarea for the next 30 years, interview all city and CRA commissioners and each of their respective managers or directors, interview the CRA bond counsel, interview the CRA legal counsel, provide recommendations for the CRA to assist the city with other expenditures and present report and findings to the CRA board and to the City Commission.
    Part B covers comparative analysis of CRAs in other Palm Beach and Broward county cities, including date started, annual budget, expected sunset date and taxable value.
    Part C calls for an economic analysis of the CRA contribution to the Delray Beach economy from CRA investments, demographic data, property values, jobs created and other similar items.
    The other bidders also were from Broward County: PMG Associates of Deerfield Beach and RMA Associates of Pompano Beach.
    In July, the CRA commissioners were deadlocked 3-3 because Cathy Balestriere was absent. Finally CRA then-commissioner and now chairman Reggie Cox made a motion to hire Munilytics. It passed 4-2, with Paul Zacks and Joseph Bernadel voting no. They both preferred PMG, recommended by CRA staff.
    Balestriere also was absent for the August vote.
    In other action at the Aug. 27 meeting, the board asked staff to increase 2015-16 budget amounts for the Spady Museum to the $67,357 requested and for the Delray Beach Historical Society to the $52,000 requested. The other nonprofits would receive the amounts that staff had recommended.
    The board approved by a 6-0 vote to spend $21,370 to hire Kimley-Horn and Associates to do a study of parking demand and use in its downtown core, generally between Swinton Avenue and the Intracoastal Waterway. The firm was the lowest of four bidders.
    The board also agreed to reimburse the city up to $400,000 during the next financial year to operate the downtown trolley. The city had a $100,000 state transportation grant that is expiring, which accounts for the increased request. Finance Director Lori Hayward said the expenses for the current year were only $112,000 so far, not nearly the $300,000 budgeted.

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