By Steve Plunkett
The county’s new ethics watchdog office could cost the town of Highland Beach up to $10,848 in its first year.
“We do not know yet which particular contracts might be exempted from the fee, and there’s going to be some that are exempted from this fee,’’ Town Manager Dale Sugerman reported at the commission’s December meeting.
Municipalities are obligated to fund the office by paying one-quarter of 1 percent of the total cost of contracts awarded. Sugerman said he based his estimate on every contract the town has planned in its budget.
The county formed an implementation task force to set up rules for which contracts are subject to the fee, Sugerman said. The three municipal representatives on the task force are Manalapan Town Attorney Trela White, who is also the Palm Beach County League of Cities legal counsel, Lantana Town Manager Michael Bornstein and Boynton Beach City Manager Kurt Bressner.
Sugerman said the implementation date was supposed to be Jan. 1 and has now been pushed to April 1. He estimated the real date would be four to six months past that.