By Mary Thurwachter
It’ll be a year in September since Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in Lantana and so many other communities.
But this year, with the hurricane season already underway, the town is fortifying two of its buildings with the help of FEMA grants.
News of one of the FEMA grant approvals came late in June. The money is for the police station at 901 N. Eighth St., which functions as the town’s emergency operations center during a hurricane.
The $1.5 million project will consist of installing a new code-compliant roof and installing hurricane barriers on all openings such as windows, doors, skylights, vents, louvers and exhaust fans. The project includes a backup generator.
The federal government will cover 75 percent of the cost, with the town paying the remainder.
“Once the town receives an approved agreement from the state (which owns the building, part of the A.G. Holley property), the town will begin the design and bid documents needed to move forward with this project,” said Town Manager Deborah Manzo.
The first of the two grants, approved earlier this year, will add accordion shutters to the town library, a $70,000 project of which FEMA will cover 75 percent.
The project has already begun. Shutters will cover the 20-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the building at 205 W. Ocean Ave.
“Last year it took town staff 80 [worker] hours to put up hurricane panels on the windows,” said Manzo.
“The accordion shutters will allow town staff to spend their time on other pre- and post-disaster efforts.”
In other action, the Town Council:
• Set its second budget workshop for 5:30 p.m. July 9. During the first workshop June 11, the council learned that the estimated taxable value has risen about 8 percent to $1 billion. A proposed tax rate will be chosen in July.
• Turned down a proposal from P3 Global Management to permit a bike-sharing program in Lantana like the one in West Palm Beach.