Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Part 1 of 2 - re Hallandale Beach's groundbreaking tonight at B.F. James Park and the lingering controversy re the swimming pool situation in this small city. Why did the cost for this Hallandale Beach city park DOUBLE to $5 Million, which means that there's now NOT enough money to fix South Beach Park, the busiest part of the city beach?

Groundbreaking for the new B.F. James Park in Hallandale Beach
Tuesday 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. 
B.F. James Park, 101 NW 9th Avenue

So, why did the cost for this Hallandale Beach city park -B.F. James ParkDOUBLE, which means that there's now NOT enough money to fix South Beach Park, which is actually the busiest park in the city and the busiest part of the city beach?

Remind me again why B.F. James Park will place a brand new pool with bells-and-whistles 1.7 miles from the existing city pool at Peter Bluesten Park, the city's largest park, that's also scheduled to be changed and improved in the next few years? 

The city pool that in the nine-plus years that I've lived here has NEVER had even one directional sign on U.S.-1, two blocks away from it?
Which is why some people don't even know the city has a pool.
Even people who've been elected President of the HB Chamber of Commerce.

HB taxpayers can't seem to get answer for any of these simple questions.

A search for docs on B.F. James Park leads us here:
http://fl-hallandalebeach2.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/7190

Take a good look at what it says there.

Hey, look at us, we can waste money AND win an award from a group that's directly associated with Mayor Joy Cooper!

There was nothing on the city's website last night about what this park will actually look like when it's finished, though we know what the city said they wanted most on the 2.35 acres in Northwest HB:
http://hallandalebeachfl.gov/documentcenter/view/2725
 Family orient pool 
 Basketball Courts 
 Passive Open Space 
 Pedestrian walkways 
 Playground 
 On and off site parking 

That is to say, at
http://www.hallandalebeach.org/Search/Results?searchPhrase=B.F.%20James&page=1&perPage=10
there's nothing that's more recent than 18 months ago -February  10, 2012!
http://hallandalebeachfl.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/2305

Oh, wait, that link to the city's Park Master Plan doesn't show what it will look like either.
Awesome!

The City of Hollywood, over four-times larger in both physical size and population than HB, has exactly one municipal swimming pool. 
It looks like Hallandale Beach and its 4.2 square miles may well soon have two, with the new one located exactly 1.7 miles from the other.

The reality of the matter is that if you want to go swimming in this city it is both cheap and convenient already. 
In fact, you can catch the city's mini-bus at O.B. Johnson Park and  be taken to Peter Bluesten Park and the existing swimming pool for free in less than ten minutes.
Here's a Google map that shows you what I've said is true.

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Peter+Bluesten+Park,+501+S.E.+1st+Avenue,+Hallandale+Beach,+FL+33009&daddr=O.+B.+Johnson+Park,+900+N.W.+8th+Avenue,+Hallandale+Beach,+FL+33009&hl=en&sll=25.979959,-80.147796&sspn=0.012037,0.021157&geocode=FTBsjAEd1Ao5-yFxqf7UVASENykt18h6fKzZiDFxqf7UVASENw%3BFR6kjAEdkN84-yEoBldmyFOA5SljsI5NiavZiDEoBldmyFOA5Q&t=h&gl=us&mra=ls&z=15

While I have been a very strong and vocal supporter of the HB Parks Master Plan in general, 
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/final-hallandale-beach-parks-rec-master.html
and have attended 95% of all the meetings on it all over this city from the very beginning -even attending the Parks Advisory mtg. to hear the spiel from the consultants at Bermello Ajamil Partners Inc. before the public officially heard it at a City Commission did- you can't convince me thru the use of facts that a city this small having two separate swimming pools within two miles of one another makes financial sense for this city's taxpayers.

The money used for the second pool would be better spent being used to create something in the spaces that the city has already bought and purchased for park land for MILLIONS, esp. on Old Dixie Highway, since at present, all those acres of dirt have had nothing done to them other than, foolishly, a fence being erected around it in June of 2012, even though nobody was ever
there because, oh right, there's nothing there.
So why the fence?

In any case, the city left the gate open -there was no lock on it!!!

Which is why in no time, people were consistently dumping materials there that became hills.
That only got cleaned-up LAST MONTH!

It only took a year for the city to get that mess a block from HB City Hall cleaned-up!

Even worse, there is no sign of any kind along Old Dixie Highway indicating WHEN it will be an actual city park after MILLIONS of dollars have already gone out the door.
Where's the specific timetable and benchmarks?

Is it because they simply don't have a plan that makes sense, and are afraid to share THAT with the public, its true owners?

But then the lack of an actual logical plan is not something that has troubled mayor Cooper and the City Commission in the past, now is it?
Broward Bulldog
Hallandale Beach takes a bath on land deals; properties for redevelopment sit idle for years
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org
OCTOBER 6, 2011 AT 6:13 AM

Yet again we are confronted with first-hand experience of seeing that everything in this city, esp. the simple things, seems to have a preference for being done in an obviously indifferent half-assed fashion.
When will it end?

To get some answers, I suggest some of you start calling the city's PR flack, Peter Dobens at 954-457-1493 or pdobens@cohb.org and ask him for some answers on why such basic information about the park is STILL NOT on the city's (second-rate) website for taxpayers and residents to see.


-----
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-02-08/news/fl-cn-james-0210-20130208_1_green-certification-leed-foster-park
City seeks green certification for park building
February 8, 2013
By Sergy Odiduro, Forum Publishing Group

Hallandale Beach is planning an environmentally friendly building at B.F. James Park.

The city is planning to seek a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for the 3,800-square-foot building, which will house restrooms and administrative offices. Construction will start later this year, and the city recently approved two contracts (totaling about $70,000 and funded by Hallandale's Community Redevelopment Agency) to help with the LEED process.

The LEED standards are established by the U.S. Green Building Council and recognize eco-friendly designs, construction and other environmentally friendly projects.

"It's a whole new building, and when we put it up, we will be using renewable materials," said Rafael Perdomo, a city engineer and green initiatives coordinator. "The playground materials will also have recyclable content, and the lighting in the park will be high efficiency."

Renovations at the park, at 101 NW Ninth St., are part of a citywide master plan that involves the overhaul of several recreational facilities. Phase I of the project includes Scavo, South Beach and B.F. James parks.

"It's 60 percent complete and in the design phase," Perdomo said.

Plans for B.F. James also include a swimming pool, a playground, basketball courts and parking spaces.

Perdomo said the LEED project is part of a larger focus on being more environmentally friendly, including exploring eco-friendly alternatives to using chlorine in its municipal pools.

"At the Foster Park building, we have limited parking on purpose because we want to encourage walking or riding a bicycle to the park," he said. "We have bicycle racks, and we also have priority parking for hybrid vehicles and for those who carpool."

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