Boca Briefs

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Boca council sets goals for upcoming fiscal year

After spending two days with a facilitator, Boca Raton Council members set four goals for the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal year.

During its annual strategic planning workshop, council members discussed the vision for the city of Boca Raton with input from residents.

With help from Doug Thomas, a facilitator from Strategic Government Resources, elected officials and staff discussed challenges, opportunities, issues and projects for the city to tackle.

Here are the overall goals:

Goal 1 – Financially Sound City

Focus economic development efforts on Boca Raton as an innovation business hub

Determine long term and short-term financial planning

Goal 2 – World Class Municipal Services

Planning for government center

Infrastructure improvements including Utilities, Municipal Services and Information Technology

Staffing levels for City services, recruitment, retainment and succession

Goal 3 – Strong Partnership with Community

Partnership with the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District

Partnership with Florida Atlantic University

Relationships and partnerships with other institutions including Lynn University, the Boca Raton Airport and Boca Raton Regional Hospital

Public Schools Advocacy

Funding for School Safety

Goal 4 – Vibrant and Sustainable City

Midtown Planning

Land Development Code Revision

Downtown Interim Design Guidelines/Pattern Book/Ordinance 4035

Traffic & Mobility/Pedestrian Safety

Sustainability/Resiliency Action Plan

New downtown Boca pavement signage

If you aren’t sure where while walking around downtown Boca, just look down.

New directional pavement signs were recently installed to highlight downtown attractions and how to get to them by foot.

The pavement signs, which look like decals on the sidewalks, were designed to assist the growing number of visitors to the downtown district.

Each sign highlights two downtown attractions, and guides visitors to them with directional arrows and the estimated number of feet to reach each destination.

For example, a visitor standing on E. Boca Raton Road in front of Sanborn Square will learn they can turn right and reach Mizner Park in 532 feet, or turn left and reach Royal Palm Place in 1,267 feet.

A total of 24 signs are located throughout the downtown district and feature such attractions as Mizner Park, Sanborn Square, Royal Palm Place, the Cultural Center, Museums, Visitor’s Center, Parks, the Amphitheater, Recreation and more.

“The pavement signs promote Downtown Boca’s top attractions and show our visitors the ability to easily walk to each one – as we are a very walkable downtown. We hope they are helpful, visually appealing and enjoyed by residents and visitors alike,” Downtown Manager Ruby Childers said.

The pavement signs are the first phase in a broader directional system for Downtown Boca. In-ground wayfinding signs are scheduled to be installed later this year.

Boca youth committee wins statewide contest

The City of Boca Raton’s Community Advisory Panel Youth Subcommittee was one of the five city youth councils to win the 2019 Municipal Youth Council Community Service Contest, sponsored by the Florida League of Cities.

The statewide community service contest showcases community service projects performed by municipal youth councils that successfully address specific needs in their local communities.

The Youth Subcommittee was established by the Community Advisory Panel (CAP), a board created by the Boca Raton City Council. The CAP provides a public forum for residents to express their concerns and initiatives regarding quality of life issues. Several of the Council-appointed panel members are high school and college students who advocated for the creation of a Youth Subcommittee.

The subcommittee focuses on youth concerns and initiatives and invites local students to participate in regular meetings. They also encourage student participation in local government activities.

The Youth Subcommittee was recognized by the Florida League of Cities for the LEAD Green Community Service project (Local youth, Environmental leaders, Action-oriented, Dedicated to sustainability). This new initiative empowers and encourages young volunteer groups from different schools to collaborate. As a result, several environmental projects such as planting trees, nature trail rehabilitation and beach cleanups have been completed. The goal of LEAD is to preserve the environment for future generations, to make positive contributions to the City, and provide awareness to the residents.

The Youth Subcommittee focused on beach cleanups as part of the community service award. Keeping local beaches clean and free of plastic was recognized by the Youth Subcommittee as an issue that affected the oceans and local ecosystems. The Subcommittee scheduled several beach cleanups throughout the year and educated volunteers to find the tiny pieces of plastic that cause harm to sea life in and around the oceans and city beaches. Over 30 beach cleanups resulted in the collection of over 200 pounds of trash.

In addition to beach cleanups, the Youth Subcommittee planted over 30 trees around the community, cleaned and restored one of Boca Raton’s most historic nature trails and had over 300 student volunteers assist in various projects.