The Board of County Commissioners, sitting as the Child Care Facilities Board, approved on preliminary reading a series of changes to the rules and regulations governing child care facilities. They include requiring alarms to remind drivers of day-care vehicles to check for children; minimum education requirements for child-care personnel; increasing license fees; and additional guidelines for issuing provisional and probationary licenses.
A vote on the bill will be taken following a public hearing on Aug. 16.
The demand for reforms, particularly the alarm to alert drivers of children who may still be in the van, came after the Aug. 5, 2010 death of Haile Brockington. The 2-year-old was left for hours in the back of a hot van at Katie’s Kids Learning Center in Delray Beach.
State Sen. Maria Sachs tried unsuccessfully this year to push through a bill that require all vans transporting more than six children to have alarms. The presumption is that an adult would have to walk to the back of the vehicle to turn off an alarm, and would likely notice if any children were left behind.
Sachs said she will try again to get the measure passed in the next legislative session.
HUD – approved the Palm Beach County Action Plan for submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to receive approximately $8.9 million in CDBG, ESG and HOME entitlement grant allocations.
Criminal Justice Commission – received an evaluation report on the fourth year of the Youth Violence Prevention Project.
Solar energy – authorized the Economic Development Office to apply for a grant of up to $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy under the SunShot Initiative: Rooftop Solar Challenge to Induce Market Transformation. The program seeks to develop ways to make solar energy more accessible and affordable to citizens and the business community.
New Markets Tax Credit – authorized applying for $30 million in federal funds under the New Markets Tax Credit program to stimulate private investment capital that in turn will facilitate economic development and create jobs in Palm Beach County and rural counties surrounding Lake Okeechobee.
Bonds – approved the issuance of up to $36 million in revenue improvement bonds for the Ocean Avenue Lantana Bridge and Max Planck Florida Corp. projects. The projects were combined into one bond issue to reduce the cost of issuance.
Dubois Park – approved a change order with Murphy Construction Co. in the amount of $351,000 for construction of a water taxi shelter, three boat lifts for law enforcement and lifeguard vessels, and electrical work at Dubois Park Marina.
Ag Reserve – approved lease agreements for two county-owned parcels totaling 215 acres in the Ag Reserve. T&D Cattle Company and Exotics will lease 195 acres for row crops, and Floral Acres LLC will lease 20 acres for a containerized nursery.
Water Utilities – approved a bulk wastewater agreement (up to 1.4 million gallons per day) with the village of Palm Springs.
Jupiter CRA – adopted a resolution expanding the boundaries of the Jupiter Community Redevelopment Area to include Guanabanas and Inlet Village Park.