|Posted by Anne Siren on February 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM|
By Judy Wilson
Deerfield Beach - The city’s signature waterfall got a sprucing up this week. Maintenance crews did major work at the southwest corner of US 1 and Hillsboro Boulevard, installing a sprinkler system, clearing massive amounts of dead palm fronds and noxious exotic plants, installing lights, adding red rock borders and laying sod.
The clean up involved replacing 40-year old irrigation pipes, a situation city crews discovered once they began digging, and replacing a sidewalk. “It’s a focal point and we are trying to clean it up,” said Bob Harbin, parks and recreation department superintendent. “It was a major task.”
The city has budgeted $5,000 this year to maintain the area which is also highlighted by a wading pool and small deer statue. Because of its location, it could be considered the city’s official entrance but it is not an impressive one. In recent years the growth behind the coral rock waterfall has resembled a jungle and the grass around it was parched. Litter dotted the area which is now enhancde by two large power boxes, a sign reminding residents of paper-shredding events and a bus stop.
This week’s work is the “best we can do with what we have,” Harbin said. “It needs a major facelift.”
Ruth Blacketer who headed the city’s now defunct Beautification Committee, remembers former City Manager Larry Deetjen wanted a better image there and her committee members worked to bring an idea forward. She said that at the time JM Family was going to pay for the improvement.
Deetjen said that at the time there was interest from the private sector in the corner. “Today a fire station would never be located on a busy intersection where response times are critical. The concept was to leverage private investment . . . to upgrade public land.”
Another plan for the corner was drawn only a few years ago Blacketer said, but no work was ever done. Again her committee did major research to bring ideas to the city.
In their research they found their committee underfunded when compared to other cities. Boca Raton for example had $100,000 for beautification projects and “this was back in the 90s.” she said.
IWS wins plea for promotional wall graphics
Deerfield Beach- Island Water Sports, described by Mayor Peggy Noland as “an iconic business on the beach,” got permission to have advertising placards on their building at the A1A “S” curve. The six wall panels will have a limitation: no logos of the companies who place them there to promote surfing as a way of life will be allowed.
Store owner Linsey Cottrell appeared before the city commission Tuesday to ask that a variance received in 2009 allowing the wall panels with only images be amended to also allow a message and a logo. Cottrell argued that the panels “organically advocate a nautical lifestyle and bring an authenticity to our business.” Founded here 40 years ago by Cottrell’s parents, Island Water Sports sponsors the city’s surf camp and supports a number of youth events and school charities. According to Cottrell, without the words or logos, companies would not be willing to erect the panels. Putting similar art in the display areas which would cost her business about $18,000 a year she said.
Noland said, “I’ve always been a supporter of your company. The sings are not offensive.” Commissioner Joe Miller, who represents the beach, suggested a compromise: eliminate the logo but allow the wording which espouses a surfing life.
Vice Mayor Bill Ganz favored sticking with the limitation established by the Community Appearance Board. “The code allows a sign up to 100 square feet. You have a graphic display of 267 feet. Your signs are more like billboards. I don’t see how we can allow [the request].”
Miller’s motion to accept the panels with words, but not logos, was approved by the commission 4-1.
Home repair funds available for moderate income residents
Deerfield Beach – The city has $300,000 in federal and state money for residential home repair and will begin accepting applications Tuesday, Feb. 19. Home repairs must contribute to the health and safety of occupants or address code violations. Applications will be taken until the funds run out.
To be eligible, incomes must fall within certain levels, ranging from $38,150 for a one-person residence to $49,050 for a family of three to $71,950 for a family of eight.
Holiday pool hours
Deerfield Beach – The aquatic center, 501 SE 6 Ave., will have reduced hours Monday, Feb. 18, President’s Day. City offices will be closed all day, but the pool will be open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.