By: Sharon Aron Baron
Body cameras for police officers, improved parks, updated facilities and converting street lights to LED. That’s what the City of Coral Springs is proposing if voters say “yes” to the penny tax on November 8.
Two questions will be asked of all Broward County voters: each one asking for a half-penny sales tax increase on all purchases. One proposal asks for a half-cent increase to finance countywide transportation projects, and the second half percent to fund municipal infrastructure projects. Both proposals ask voters to increase the sales tax for 30 years, which would raise an estimated $310 million in the first year and $12.4 billion over 30 years.
Both items must pass in order for the penny sales tax to go into effect.
The City’s portion of revenue raised will finance an array of city projects throughout the county, such as new police or fire stations, park improvements and street and sewer improvements.
The County portion of the surtax would finance a variety of transportation projects, including the light rail system called the “Wave” in Downtown Fort Lauderdale with future connections to the airport, seaport and the Broward County Convention Center. The money would also pay for planned projects designed to ease traffic congestion such as increased bus service, synchronized traffic signals and a variety of countywide intersection and safety improvements. A portion of the city infrastructure surtax (40 percent) would be allocated to address County needs in years 21-30 only.
Currently, the sales tax in Broward County is six percent. In Miami Dade, it’s seven percent. None of the local governments within Broward County collect additional local sales taxes. In addition, while many counties do levy a countywide sales tax, Broward County currently does not.
Coral Springs officials created a list of projects that would be funded by the tax. The following projects are proposed for the first five years:
Two new ones were recently added to the top that were not included on the A Penny At Work website.
- Coral Glades High School Auditorium – 750 seat Auditorium, sound system, restrooms, lobby, and ticket booth.
- J.P. Taravella Stadium – 2,500 bleacher seat stadium, stadium lighting, concession, scoreboard, and restrooms.
- Cypress Park Improvements I – Resurface basketball and tennis courts, renovate soccer and baseball fields (artificial turf for fields #7 and #8), new shade canopies, signage, landscape upgrades, restroom renovations, new park equipment.
- Mullins Park Improvements I – Resurface basketball/tennis courts, artificial turf on MW #1, 2 and 3, replace turf on Aiello, grade and sod all athletic fields, shade covers, new park equipment, field & court lights, new playground, new American League building, signage, batting cage renovations, soccer goal replacements.
- North Community Park Improvements I – Resurface basketball and tennis courts, pathway overlay, baseball/soccer field renovations, fencing, playground lighting, shade canopies over bleachers, restroom renovations, new park equipment.
- Gymnasium Improvements I – New scoreboards, divider curtains, lighting, backboards and rims, classroom renovations, new doors, furniture and equipment. Gym expansion in year two.
- Sportplex Tennis Improvements I – Court resurfacing, new lighting, fencing, new shade shelters, club house renovations, new water fountains, new park equipment, lighting for event site.
- Sportsplex Athletic Complex Improvements – New signage, artificial turf for Stadium Field, fencing, track and basketball court resurfacing, restroom renovations, playground replacement.
- Aquatic Complex Improvements I – Lighting, pave south parking lot, fitness equipment replacement, expand fitness center for spin classes, equipment (pump/heater) replacement, outdoor fitness area upgrades, bleacher replacements, deck resurfacing, renovate lifeguard room.
- Mullins Pool Improvements I – Equipment (pump/heater) replacement, restroom upgrades, new lighting, fencing.
- Cypress Pool Improvements I – Equipment (pump/heater) replacement, restroom upgrades, new lighting, guard room renovations, fencing.
- Lions Park Improvements – New park equipment, lighting upgrades, field renovations, playground shade cover, playground equipment (including flooring), fencing, new restroom/storage building, parking lot overlay and striping.
- Betti Stradling Park Improvements I – Resurface basketball courts and skate board park, field renovations, new skate board park equipment, playground replacement (including flooring), shade canopy replacements, park equipment, splash pad, restroom upgrades.
- Poinciana Park Improvements I – New park equipment, court resurfacing, pavilion replacement, pathway overlay, parking lot overlay and striping, playground shade cover.
- Forest Hills Park Improvements I – Shade cover for bleachers and playground, pathway and parking lot overlay, restroom upgrades.
- Sherwood Forest Park Improvements I – Entrance road, pathway overlay, parking lot overlay and striping.
- Kiwanis Park Improvements I – Restroom upgrades, pathway overlay, and playground shade cover.
- Three Mountains Park Improvements I – Fencing, overlay parking lot and pathway, and playground shade cover.
- Windings Park Improvements – Playground replacement, playground shade cover, pathway overlay, new park equipment, signage, and fencing.
- Castlewood Park Improvements I – Court resurfacing, new park equipment, playground shade cover, signage, pathway and parking lot overlay.
- Shadowwood Park Improvements – Fencing, landscaping and signage.
- Three Friends Park Improvements I – Pathway overlay, and fencing.
- Countrywood Park Improvements – Playground replacement, playground shade cover, install new pathways, park equipment, fencing, and signage.
- Riverside Park Improvements I – Resurfacing of Futsal court, basketball courts and pickleball courts, lighting upgrades, shade canopies, and restroom upgrades.
- Veterans Park Improvements I – New restroom building, landscaping, parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Lakeview Park Improvements I – Playground shade cover, fencing and parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Oakwood Park Improvements I – Playground shade cover, park equipment, parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Whispering Oaks Park Improvements I – Playground shade cover, park equipment, fencing and parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Richard D. Petrillo Park Improvements I – New restroom building, install pathway to restroom, park equipment, and roadway overlay.
- Dede Gilmore Park Improvements I – Resurface tennis court, playground shade cover, fencing, park equipment, signage, overlay pathway and parking lot.
- Paul Barre Memorial Rotary Park Improvements I – Playground Shade Cover, fencing, redo volleyball courts with concrete border, replace exercise equipment, overlay parking lot and pathway.
- Turtle Run Park Improvements I – Field renovations, court resurfacing, restroom renovations, parking lot overlay and striping, playground replacement.
- Pine Glen Park Improvements – Fencing and signage.
- Eagle Ridge Park Improvements I – Tennis court resurfacing, signage, parking lot and pathway overlay, fencing, basketball court resurfacing.
- Ralph Diaz Memorial Park Improvements – Park equipment, pathway lighting, restroom upgrades, parking lot overlay and striping, replace exercise equipment.
- Paul Britton Park Improvements I – New sign, shade cover for playground, parking lot overlay and striping.
- Jaycee Park Improvements I – New backboards and rims, resurface tennis courts, signage, shade cover for playground, restroom upgrades, fencing, parking lot and pathway overlay, dugouts for ball fields and shade canopies for bleachers.
- Fern Glen Park Improvements I – Fencing, new picnic pavilion, shade cover for playground, restroom upgrades (tile), replace picnic pavilion, parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Chevy Chase South Park Improvements – New sign.
- Volunteer Park Improvements I – Court resurfacing, playground replacement, playground shade cover, sign, restroom upgrades, fencing, landscaping, parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Running Brook Hills Park Improvements I – Fencing, sign, new pathway to playground, and playground shade cover.
- Forest Hills West Park Improvements – Park equipment and fencing.
- Park 56/57 Improvements – New sign and fencing.
- The Preserve Park Improvements – New sign and fencing.
- Westchester Lake Park Improvements I – Restroom upgrades, park equipment, parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Whispering Woods Park Improvements I – Shade cover for playground, irrigation, restroom upgrades, park equipment, parking lot overlay and striping.
- Pride Promoters Park Improvements I – Court resurfacing, pavilion replacement, landscaping, and fencing.
- Sandy Ridge Sanctuary Park Improvements I – Restroom upgrade, fencing, park equipment and parking lot and pathway overlay.
- Red Lichen Sanctuary Park Improvements – Pathway overlay and fencing.
- Pine Flats Preserve Improvements I – New sign.
- Cypress Gateway Preserve Park Improvements – Sign and fencing.
- Irrigation – Install wells in areas where canals dry up during droughts.
- Irrigation – Change Sample Road irrigation system to electric.
- Irrigation – Upgrade the MIR system. This system monitors the citywide irrigation use.
- Energy Efficient Building Management Systems – Replacement of high energy air conditioning systems with more efficient units combined with building management systems to minimize usage during off peak hours, resulting in lower FPL bills.
- Westside Compound Master Plan – Reconstruction of the City garage, Streets administration office, and Central Stores building to meet current day hurricane codes. These buildings are critical support facilities for first responders, Police, Fire, and Public Works staff.
- Waste Transfer Station Improvements – Construct drainage improvements, better customer drop off points and traffic circulation, along with enhanced Household Hazardous Waste collection facilities.
- Emergency Generator replacement – Replace aging emergency generators for use during disasters. Improves reliability of government services during power outages.
- Electric Vehicle charging stations – Provide electric vehicle charging stations at major parks and government buildings to promote less dependency on fossil fuel vehicles.
- Convert street lights to LED – Conversion of street lights to LED
- Forest Hills Blvd Pedestrian Lighting – Furnish and install pedestrian walkway lighting along the Forest Hills Blvd sidewalk.
- New sidewalk construction – Construction of new sidewalks where none exists, and replacement of asphalt paths with ADA compliant concrete sidewalks.
- Sidewalk and drainage improvements – Sidewalk and drainage improvements along 39th Street, from Coral Springs to Coral Ridge Drives.
- Guardrail retrofit program – Upgrade over 100 guardrails abutting canals on City streets to current height and length standards.
- Bus shelter repair and replacement – Replace aging bus shelters.
- Coral Hills Drive sidewalk and drainage improvements – Replace asphalt path with ADA compliant sidewalk, with curb, gutter and improved drainage system.
- Industrial Park drainage – Improve drainage in the Corporate Park.
- Meadows and Dells drainage – Complete the 2005 master plan for storm water improvements in the Meadows and Dells subdivisions.
- Westchester Neighborhood drainage improvements – Implement storm water improvements through improved swale retention and additional catch basins.
- C14 Canal TMDL Mitigation – Begin City’s possible share of mitigation to clean up pollutants deposited into the C14 canal.
- Roadway resurfacing/bike lanes – Begin resurfacing of all neighborhood streets and addition of bike lanes on collector reads where feasible.
- Downtown DRI Improvements – Roadway improvements to ease traffic flow due to increased downtown development.
- Alleyway improvements – Begin reconstruction of alleys and improving drainage facilities on City owned alleys off Sample, Wiles, and University Drive.
- Emergency Traffic Signals – Install emergency traffic signals at Fire Stations 71, 80 and 64.
- Bunker Gear replacement for Fire personnel – Replace bunker gear in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association.
- Fire Department fleet replacement – Replace ladder trucks, engines, rescues trucks, staff vehicles and equipment.
- Fire Academy Expansion – Add classroom space, parking and fire ground areas to the Coral Springs Fire Academy.
- Patient stretcher purchase – Purchase cots used to transport patients to & from hospital.
- Monitor/Defibrillators purchase – Purchase monitor/defibrillators used to treat patients with cardiac related emergencies.
- Automated Chest Compression System purchase – Purchase an automated chest compression system This system is designed to help improve the outcome of sudden cardiac arrest victims.
- Security Cameras in public property – Security cameras will be strategically placed throughout the City in an effort to provide police with real time surveillance and video evidence of criminal activity. This technology will deter crime from occurring and solve crimes that had occurred.
- Mobile Command Vehicle – The Command Vehicle will provide a mobile command center for public safety with up to date technology to coordinate and facilitate resources on large scale incidents and public venues. Our current command vehicle is outdated and mechanically unsound.
- Body Cameras – Body cameras are the next generation of police technology. Deploying body cameras allow police officials to capture events as they happen. Body cameras capture evidence as well as provide enforcement transparency to the public.
- Police vehicle replacement – Replacement of all police vehicles including marked patrol vehicles, unmarked detective vehicles and specialty vehicles such as parking vehicles and truck to move speed trailers is necessary on a rotation basis.
- Public Safety parking garage – A parking garage at the public safety complex will allow expansion without acquiring more land to accommodate the parking needs of the public safety building. The parking garage will also ensure the safety of the public safety fleet during hurricanes.
- AEDs in each patrol car – Automatic External Defibrillator in all patrol vehicles will save lives. Police officers are constantly on patrol and often arrive to medical emergencies minutes before paramedics arrive. Having AEDs can reduce the necessary minutes to shock the heart back in rhythm, saving lives of our citizens.
- Tactical Training Facility – The Tactical Training Facility will provide a controlled environment where police officers can practice tactical training such as building searches for suspects as well as active shooter training. Well trained officers are less likely to utilize deadly force, cutting down on injury or death as well limiting liability for the City.
- Perimeter Wall for Gun Range – The range is utilized by Coral Springs Officers as well as officers throughout the tri-county area. Our police range is where firearm proficiency and quarterly qualifications occur. The wall will facilitate a secure facility for officers while prohibiting unauthorized persons to enter the police range during live fire.
- Tasers – Tasers are as common in police work as police cars. These non-lethal tools allow officers to bring non-compliant suspects under control without utilizing force that could cause injury or death. Tasers save lives as well as limit liability to our City. Tasers replacements are necessary every few years as needed.
- Vest replacement for Police Officers – Ballistic vest are mandatory items for the Coral Springs Police Department. Ballistic vest expire and need replaced every four years. This safety equipment is mandatory for all officers in the field.
- Center for the Arts – 20-year capital plan – Improvements to the Center for the Arts will ensure that this facility remains a cultural arts asset to the community now, and in the future.
The City of Coral Springs will host a Facebook Live on
October 6 at 7 p.m. CANCELED DUE TO HURRICANE MATTHEW. Residents are encouraged to tune in on the City’s Facebook Page and learn more about the county and City projects that are planned if the funding is approved by voters.
Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.