Palm Beach County Commission Honors Ron Jarriel

Ron Jarriel

At the Tuesday, June 16 meeting of the Palm Beach County Commission, county officials agreed to honor late Loxahatchee Groves Councilman Ron Jarriel for his service to Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue.

The commissioners agreed to rename a rule in the comprehensive plan that requires three personnel aboard every PBCFR truck in honor of Jarriel, who was instrumental in getting the safety measure in place.

The retired county firefighter and longtime Loxahatchee Groves official passed away in April.

In other business:

Clerk & Comptroller — The board approved a budget transfer of $4.5 million from general fund contingency reserves to the Clerk of Court Fund 1903 and an emergency fund agreement with the Clerk & Comptroller of Palm Beach County to repay the funds to the county if the Florida Legislature allocates funding relating to the clerk’s COVID-19 budgetary shortfall or excess court-related funds are available. Funding will be used to pay the salaries of essential employees at the Clerk & Comptroller’s Office due to the decline of court-related revenues, affiliated with COVID-19.

Anti-Hate — The board adopted a resolution denouncing anti-semitism, anti-Asian bigotry and all hateful speech, violent action and the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19 that casts blame, promotes racism or discrimination or harms the county’s Asian and Pacific Islander, Jewish, immigrant or other communities, and urges residents to call attention to these harms and denouncing hate to help keep us all safe during this unprecedented pandemic and beyond.

Dentists — The board adopted an ordinance adding Section 27-81 that requires dentists who handle dental amalgam or tooth fillings to pretreat their wastewater to remove dental amalgam before it enters the county’s wastewater conveyance system. The EPA has determined that dental clinics are the main source of mercury in wastewater conveyance systems, and mercury is a component of dental amalgam. Dental offices subject to the ordinance must install a certified amalgam separator by July 14, allow inspections by the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department and complete a one-time compliance report and forward it to the PBCWUD pre-treatment coordinator by October 12.

Palm Tran Grants — The board adopted a resolution authorizing a Section 5310 grant application for the replacement of 10 Palm Tran paratransit vehicles at a total project cost of $906,000. This grant requires a 10 percent local match. The board also approved the filing of a grant application with the Federal Transit Administration in the amount of $50.7 million under the CARES Act for capital and operating expenses to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and maintain operations. No local match and no county funds are required.

Palm Tran Connection — The board authorized a grant agreement with the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (FCTD) in the amount of $4.164 million for the Trip & Equipment Grant Program to provide Palm Tran Connection service trips and discounted daily and monthly fixed-route passes. The county was awarded a grant of $3.747 million, which requires a 10 percent local match, for a total project of $4.164 million. The total anticipated cost to provide transportation disadvantage service is $6.732 million. The county is required to overmatch $2.568 million to maintain the program at its current level. The required local match and overmatch are included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget.

SHIP — The board approved a budget amendment of $370,738 to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund budget to recognize a funding increase to the Fiscal Year 2019-20 State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) program grant award. The Florida Housing Finance Corporation recently awarded the county an additional $370,738 in SHIP funds for Fiscal Year 2019-20, increasing the total allocation from $1,494,822 to $1,865,560. These SHIP funds are to be used to implement various affordable housing programs and other related activities. These are state funds that require no local match.

Roads — The board approved on first reading and to advertise for public hearing on July 14 amendments to the county’s Five-Year Road Program. A mid-year modification of the Five-Year Road Program is required to be considered each year.