Insider Newsletter June 5, 2020

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State of Emergency & Nighttime Curfew In Effect

A State of Local Emergency with a nighttime curfew, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m., remains in effect for the City of West Palm Beach, until terminated by the Mayor or City Commission. During curfew hours, people may travel to and from work. 

 

Protests in West Palm Beach

Residents and business owners should expect protests in our city this weekend. Please use due care when moving throughout the city. 

 

Mayor's Remarks at Friday Press Conference

First, welcome everyone. And thank you for being here.

This afternoon, I wanted to speak directly to our West Palm Beach residents about demonstrations planned in our city, the current state of emergency that is in effect, and efforts that we are undertaking to ensure the public’s safety.

I know that this past week, these past few months, have been difficult for everyone. My heart aches for the families and friends of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbury and Breonna Taylor whose lives were snuffed out so unnecessarily at such young ages. I feel the frustration and anger of those who have taken to the streets to protest such injustice.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those struggling from the impacts of COVID-19 and the economic fallout resulting from this pandemic.  

All of these events---the pandemic, the economic fallout, the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbury and BreonnaTaylor, and the recent demonstrations----- have impacted all of us. Some of you have felt loss, grief, frustration, and anger. I understand, and I can assure you we will get through it.  My sincere hope is that there will be some transformative changes coming out of this.

This afternoon, I want to share with you some updates as we enter into the weekend:

First, as it has been and always will be, public safety is my priority number one. If there is any one essential responsibility of a Mayor, of a City, it is to keep our residents safe. My primary focus right now is protecting the general public, protecting West Palm Beach Police Officers, and protecting the peaceful protesters in our city. Let me assure you, the City of West Palm Beach recognizes and acknowledges the rights of citizens to peacefully protest. Indeed, I have instructed my Police Chief to work with his department to protect the 1st Amendment rights of the protesters.

 

Summer Camp Programs Available at City Parks, Community Centers

Programs are limited to 50% capacity to help limit the spread of COVID-19

The City of Palm Beach’s parks and recreation department is now accepting summer camp registrations for the 2020 season. The department has cut the usual number of slots in half in accordance with the latest recommendations regarding COVID-19. Additionally, campers will be required to undergo temperature and health checks, frequent sanitation, follow social distancing protocols and will be placed in groups of no more than 10 individuals. Staff will be required to use proper face masks and campers will be encouraged to do the same.

 

Citizen Scientists Sought for Invasive Lizard Survey 

Staff at Grassy Waters Nature Preserve recently discovered the presence of two invasive lizard species within the preserve: Nile monitors and the Argentine black and white tegu. A University of Florida research team has been investigating invasive large lizard populations in Palm Beach County. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 mitigation they are asking citizens to help report any sightings of these species on their property, as this area is not accessible to researchers. The lizards are most often seen along canals and similar waterways. 

 

Open Units Available at Georgian Gardens Apartments

Georgian Gardens currently has open units available to low-income older adults who qualify. The community provides both 1-bedroom/1-bathroom and 2-bedroom/2-bathroom apartments with modern interiors. Senior-friendly features include wide doors and hallways and open layouts, and the community also provides a multipurpose room and several common areas.

 

City of West Palm Beach’s Art in Public Places Program to Help Artists, Hold Virtual Workshops

The City of West Palm Beach Art in Public Places Program invites artists to attend one of three informational artists’ workshops during the week of June 8, 2020. The workshops will examine current opportunities available to artists who reside in Palm Beach County and South Florida. The goal is to bring work to the local creative community and launch a new wave of public art in West Palm Beach. Three informational virtual workshops will be offered, and artists are invited to join in via the Internet. 

 

Recent Policy Actions

Below is a summary of some of the approvals and decisions made by the City Commission at a meeting on Monday, June 1, 2020.

  • Approved authorizing the appropriation or transfer of funds from CRA CIP projects to the Art in Public Places Fund totaling $120,091 to commission multiple artists to create a variety of public artworks for the Heart & Soul Park in the Northwest Historic District. The allocation of funds would allow for the publication of a Call to Artists for the park. The purpose of the art in public places program is to establish a program for the integration of public art into both public and private development projects throughout the City to visually enliven the City, illuminate the City's history, diversity, and culture, and foster economic development.
  • Approved authorizing the appropriation of funds ($90,000) to commission 15 artists as part of the COVID-19 Artist Relief Initiative: The Commons: 15 Artists 15 Locations. The Art in Public Places Committee is dedicated to supporting our creative sector by providing artist opportunities at this critical moment in time. 15 multidisciplinary artists will be commissioned to create temporary works that address our community’s need to connect in public spaces. Public spaces inherently connect us to one another. COVID-19 has changed our public environment. The project creates responsive opportunities for our artist community to reimagine our commons and to help re-build our sense of community after isolation and do so safely, and in solidarity.
 

Public Meetings & Road Closures

 
 
 
 

What's Open & What's Closed

  • Grassy Waters Preserve North Side, Owahee Trail, and Apoxee Park are open. The trails on the south side of the preserve, the boardwalk, and the Grassy Waters Preserve Visitor Center remain closed until further notice. Apoxee Trail is closed for upgrades.
  • Tennis & Racquetball: The City of West Palm Beach racquetball courts are open. Tennis courts are also open for doubles play. Individual tennis instruction may be conducted provided on a one-to-one basis. All racquetball and tennis participants are required to follow CDC guidelines and social distancing requirements.
  • City Parks and Park Facilities: City of West Palm Beach parks, including dog parks, are open for passive activities. All other park facilities including, but not limited to, aquatic centers, community centers, basketball courts, multipurpose sports fields, and playgrounds, remain closed. Phipps Skate Park open by appointment only.
  • Boat Ramps, Fishing and Docks: The City of West Palm Beach boat ramps are open. City docks are open for day docking and for fishing provided social distancing guidelines are followed.
  • City Hall is open by appointment only. Visitors are screened with temperature checks.
  • Please be advised that the Mandel Public Library remains CLOSED until further notice. We will let you know as soon as we have set a date for reopening of the library!
  • Events Cancellations Extended Until Further Notice: The City of West Palm Beach has extended cancellations of all City-produced events on public property, including Clematis by Night, Screen on the Green and Sunday on the Waterfront, until further notice.
  • WPB Trolley Service: Suspended until further notice.
  • Users of the tennis courts, racquetball courts and ramps shall follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines set forth in Palm Beach County Executive Order 2020-005. To view the order, please visit: https://www.wpb.org/home/showdocument?id=1023.                 
 

Respond to the U.S. Census Today

10 Minutes You Spend Today Can Impact Our City for 10 Years

 

Mayor's Response Hotline

(561) 822-2222 (TTY 800-955-8771)

 

Water Restrictions in Effect

Enhanced water restrictions remain in effect for our region, per the South Florida Water Management District. Restrictions include:

  • Watering of lawns only two days per week between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. (Previous guidelines allowed irrigation watering three days per week.)
  • Even-numbered addresses or other locations without an address may irrigate only on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Sundays.
  • Property owners may apply no more than ¾ inch to 1 inch of water per week on their lawns and landscapes.
 

High Efficiency Toilet Voucher Program 

Are you flushing money down the toilet? Older toilets can waste a lot of water. You may qualify to receive free vouchers worth $125 each to upgrade your toilets! The Office of Sustainability is providing $125 High Efficiency Toilet Vouchers for the replacement of residential and commercial toilets to promote water conservation.

 

As Seen In Previous Editions:

 

WPB-TV

video

City Commission Meeting (June 1, 2020)

video

City Commission Meeting (June 1, 2020): Mayor's Message

video

Community Redevelopment Agency Meeting (June 1, 2020)

video

VIDEO: Census 2020: Participation Helps West Palm Beach Thrive

 
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Questions? Contact us today: 1-561-822-2222 (TTY: 800-955-8771)