LAKE WORTH — To celebrate Gay Pride Month, which starts tomorow, the city is scheduled to hang the gay pride flag outside City Hall this afternoon.
City officials will be on hand at 5:30 p.m. for the ceremony, which will also include the reading of the gay pride month proclamation.
PrideFest of the Palm Beaches, voted the best LGBT event of the year in 2014 and 2015 by readers of South Florida Gay News, returns March 25 and 26 at Bryant Park.
Pridefest attracts more than 20,000 attendees annually throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Since 1992, PrideFest, organizers say, has served as the county’s largest gayand and lesbian visibility event.
LAKE WORTH — Earlier this week, a group of women who have fallen on hard times got a chance to shop and feel pampered.
The women of Burckle Place, a program for single homeless women, and Halle Place, a program for ladies who were incarcerated and who are now trying to get their lives back on track, participated in a “pop-up” event on Tuesday where Evelyn & Arthur, a contemporary clothing store, outfitted the women with new threads.
The designer clothes were from Lisette I. Montreal, Lisa Todd and Sympli.
The event was held at Burckle Place in Lake Worth. The Lord’s Place operates both Burckle Place and Halle Place.
“I feel so sassy and beautiful,” said Vickie Reisdorf, a 59-year-old Burckle Place resident. “This is such a generous gift.”
Haley Ford, a 28-year-old Halle Place resident, said the clothes were mature and age appropriate.
“I learned how to mix and match and expand my wardrobe, ” she said.
Adrianne Weissman, Evelyn and Arthur’s president, sits on The Lord’s Place board. She said she became involved with the organization after hearing a client’s story. Weissman said she wants to instill a sense of pride by helping the women express themselves in nice clothing.
So, I checked in with Mayor Pam Triolo to find out what’s what.
“What I go out of (the meeting) was we need to empty the pool, let’s get an engineering firm in there to figure out what’s going on under the deck and get some accurate cost estimates for what we’re really dealing with,” Triolo said.
Commissioner Christopher McVoy recommended the city compile a comprehensive list of all that’s wrong with the pool, then hire three experts for price estimates.
City Manager Michael Bornstein said those numbers were already in the report from Bob McCallister, an aquatic expert the city hired to inspect the entire facility. McCallister recommended the city demolish the facility and spend up to $7.3 million to build a water park. The city could also make basic repairs for $2.8 million or make repairs and upgrades for $4.6 million, McCallister wrote in his report.
Triolo said if the city is going to repair the pool, which is something many residents would like to see, it needs to hire an engineer to find out what’s going on underneath to make sure whatever the city does, it’s done correctly.
“We don’t want to repair it and then all of a sudden, five years from now, we’re dealing with the same garbage,” Triolo said.
Commissioners still need to vote, Triolo said, on if the city is going to repair the pool or add features to it. It’s not clear when that will happen. The next commission meeting is scheduled for March 21. The city can hire an engineer to inspect the pool without a commission vote, Triolo said.
Triolo said she wasn’t sure when an engineer would be hired.
“I think the direction we gave to staff was sooner than later,” she said. “There needs to be some testing in the areas (McCallister) brought up to see what the depths of those problems are.”
LAKE WORTH — After a lively two hour discussion on the city’s aging, municipal pool and what should be done with the facility, Lake Worth Commissioners Tuesday night decided to do…nothing.
Initially it appeared as though the city would investigate further options and get three additional recommendations from pool experts on how much it would cost to renovate the 46-year-old facility, but commissioners unanimously opted to table the issue, a decision that led to residents leaving a packed City Hall grumbling, many of whom were carrying colorful flotation noddles in support of the pool.
“We’re putting the cart miles ahead of the horse,” Commissioner Christopher McVoy said, referring to a damning report by an aquatic consultant that recommended the city demolish the structure and spend up to $7.3 million to build a new water park and lazy river in its place. “When (you’re told you need surgery), you go for a second and third opinion. We’re looking at a much more expensive project.”
McVoy said it’s not a good idea to dump a recommendation on residents and telling them it’s the only solution.
Commissioners were formally presented with the report by Bob McCallister, a 30-year aquatics expert. The report said it would cost the city $4.6 million to repair and upgrade the pool. Basic fixes to the structure and filter system alone would cost $2.8 million.
“The pool is in bad shape,” McCallister said during his 35-minute presentation.
For years, Mayor Pam Triolo said the pool, which City Manger Michael Bornstein recently closed because of safety concerns, has been neglected, mistreated and left to rot when it closed in 2012.
Whatever the city decides to do with the facility it should be done correctly, Triolo said.
“We don’t want this to be a repeat of the roads,” she said. “We don’t want to spend money to spend more money and to never solve the problem.”
Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, the most vocal commissioner on the city not spending more money to fix the pool, softened his stance somewhat.
“No one said they want to see the pool closed or permanently or eliminated,” Maxwell said. “If there is another way to do it with some other configuration…I’m all for that.”
Early in the discussion, McVoy made a motion for the city to develop a list of all the work that needs to be done at the facility, then get three experienced pool experts to give Lake Worth estimates on the price tag to fix those issues.
City Manager Michael Bornstein had an issue with that motion.
“You’re creating extra steps,” Bornstein said. “This is not rocket science.”
“They couldn’t do what we were looking for and can’t fix the issue,” said Juan Ruiz, the city’s assistant city manager. “We’ll reach out to a different company that specializes in hazardous cleaning.”
Ruiz said the city hopes to identify that company in the next day, or so.
On Sunday afternoon, a sizeable amount of grease spilled onto A1A from an outlet pipe that was connected to a grease tank trap at Mulligan’s on 10 S. Ocean Boulevard, Ruiz said.
It appears as if clogging in the pipe caused the accident, he added.
“The grease trap itself wasn’t the issue,” Ruiz said. “Because of the blockage, the water pushed the grease up.”
City crews were immediately dispatched to help clean up the area. Traffic was diverted for about four hours.
The restaurant wasn’t forced to close, according to George Hart, Mulligan’s owner.
Dominique Whitaker, a Mulligan’s server, said the spill had no impact on the restaurant.
“We were just really mad we had to park so far away and walk,” she said. “It was still really busy.”
Ruiz said the city still has no idea how much the clean up will cost.
“We don’t want to throw out a preliminary number because there are a lot of moving parts,” he said.
City Manager Michael Bornstein told The Palm Beach Post Monday that Mulligan’s is contractually obligated to keep its grease traps clean and that the city could charge the restaurant for the costs it has incurred.
That decision has not been made, Ruiz said.
The city is expected to relaase more information later today.
LAKE WORTH — At her annual State of the City Address last month, Mayor Pam Triolo talked about several projects the city has in the works.
One of them is a one-stop City Hall where residents can have all their issues resolved in one location.
The other is a customer service call center.
“When you call one number you will get a trained customer oriented professional staffer who will resolve what you need right there and then,” Triolo said during her address.
Juan Ruiz, the city’s new assistant manager, will likely play an important role in this effort. Ruiz’s background in customer service while serving as leisure services director the past five years is one of the main reasons City Manager Michael Bornstein said he tapped Ruiz to be his right-hand man.
Look for a full story on Lake Worth’s City Hall revamp in the coming days.
What do you think of the city’s plans and how would you like to see customer service at City Hall improved?
The city is hosting a Community Involvement Meeting, scheduled for Feb. 22 and 23. The meeting, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will be held at 1121 Lucerene Avenue.
The city said the purpose is to discuss roadway projects and to get feedback on what improvements residents would like to see.
The meeting on Wednesday will deal with residents in District 3 – N. M Street from Lucerne Avenue to 19th Avenue N. (Wellesley Drive).
The gathering on Feb. 23 is for District 3 – N. K Street from Lucerne Avenue to 9th Avenue N., N. J Street from 13th Avenue N. to 16th Avenue N. and 14th and 15th Avenue N. from N. J Street to Dixie Highway.
Engineering firms and project planners will be meeting with residents in the coming months. In addition, a citizen oversight committee has been formed to make sure all money is spent only on roads.
The city has said work is expected to start in the spring or summer.
Residents in November overwhelmingly approved the $40 million road bond question.