10463501678?profile=RESIZE_710xBy Joe Capozzi 

The latest renderings of a new or expanded South Palm Beach Town Hall received mostly positive reviews April 29. Architects offered rough estimates of $5.6 million to build a new two-story structure and nearly $4.2 million to renovate and add to the existing building.
In renderings shown at a Town Council workshop attended by 20 residents, the renovated version calls for a new interior with the main lobby at the side of the building facing South Ocean Boulevard instead of on the west side as it is now.  
The version showing a new Town Hall calls for putting the building farther to the west, with council chambers on the second floor overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. The east half of the property would be devoted to parking. The main entrance would be on the east side of the new building, with a covered drop-off area.
The architectural firm of Synalovski Romanik Saye will return to the council by summer with new renderings reflecting April 29 suggestions from residents and council members. One popular suggestion was to put the council chambers on the first floor, since many residents in town are over the age of 65. 
Town Manager Robert Kellogg said he’d offer the council detailed financing options for the project in late May. He said he was confident the town could pay for either a renovated or new Town Hall without raising property taxes. 
That’s because the town has over $1 million now in Building Department revenue and $732,000 from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. On top of that, the town has over $500,000 from its share of a half-cent sales tax, levied by Palm Beach County, and is expected to collect at least $500,000 a year from that tax over the next five years. 
In addition, the town has applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a $1.5 million grant.
Mayor Bonnie Fischer asked the architects to try to include in the next round of renderings an option with commercial space that the town could lease for the operation of a restaurant or cafe, which would emphasize the new building’s focus as a community center. 
In other business:
• West Palm Beach’s utility director is scheduled to attend the May 10 council meeting to review the latest water quality testing results. West Palm Beach supplies water to the town. 
The review comes about a year after the city reported that its water had an unacceptably high level of the blue-green algae contaminant cylindrospermopsin and posed a risk to physically vulnerable customers. It took the city eight days to alert customers about the problem. 
A recent letter about the latest test results, from Feb. 8, indicates “things are improving significantly,’’ Kellogg said. 
• Councilman Robert Gottlieb said Palm Tran, the Palm Beach County transportation service, is looking into the possibility of establishing “bus to the bus” service in South Palm Beach. “From your house to a bus for $2 then $2 to get on the bus,’’ he said, adding that Palm Tran is doing a similar plan in the Glades communities.
• A new ordinance, passed by unanimous vote April 12, will require owners of commercial vehicles blocking sidewalks to provide flagmen or hire off-duty police officers to direct pedestrians safely around obstructions. The town emailed a copy of the ordinance, proposed by Vice Mayor Bill LeRoy, to condo managers.
• The town is seeking volunteers to study the town code and make recommendations for changes. Residents interested in serving on the Code Review Committee should contact Town Clerk Yude Davenport at ydavenport@southpalmbeach.com no later than 4 p.m. June 30.
• Gottlieb was named South Palm Beach voting delegate for the Palm Beach County League of Cities.
• The family of Lenny and Florence Cohen has pledged to pay for the annual ice cream socials for the next 10 years, Fischer said. Florence Cohen died April 3, two weeks after a Town Hall ice cream social held in honor of her husband of 73 years. Lenny Cohen, a longtime resident who started the ice cream socials, died Dec. 7. 
• A wine and sliders event at Town Hall is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. May 6.

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