lake worth beach cra logoLAKE WORTH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
REGULAR MEETING
HATCH 1121
1121 Lucurne Ave.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | 6:00 P.M.

 

 

I. ROLL CALL:
The Recording Secretary called the meeting to order at 6:01p.m. on the above date at HATCH 1121, Lake Worth, Florida.

Present were CRA Members Brendan Lynch, Tom Copeland, Brent Whitfield, Mark Rickards & Leah Foertsch.
Also present was CRA Director, Joan Oliva

Moment of silence for CRA Chair Madlyn McKendry.

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

III. AGENDA – ADDITIONS/DELETIONS/REORDERING:
CRA Board swears in Mr. Tom Copeland as its newest member.
Mr. Copeland introduced himself to the Board.
Action: Motion made by Mr. Whitfield to move the following items:
IX c & d to VI a & b seconded by Mr. Rickards.

Vote: All Ayes

IV. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ON NON-AGENDAED ITEMS (3-minute limit):

V. MINUTES:

a. April 9, 2019
Action: Motion made by Mr. Rickards to approve the April 9, 2019 minutes seconded by Mrs. Foertsch.

Vote: All ayes
b. May 14, 2019

Action: Motion made by Mr. Rickards to approve the May 14, 2019 minutes seconded by Mrs. Foertsch.

Vote: All ayes

The following commercial façade grant applications were re-ordered from the action agenda.

a. Commercial Façade Grant Application-614 Lake Avenue
The Commercial Grant Programs offered by the CRA were designed to leverage public funds with private investment, leading to new commercial projects and job creation throughout the CRA District. In 2016, the property at 614 Lake Ave. was acquired by a group of investors who were hoping to reactivate the space. For nearly 20 years, this former restaurant sat vacant and was considered by some to be a blight in the historic downtown. Mr. Robert Oresky, new owner of the property and president of Purdy Lane Investments Inc. recently rented the space to Mr. Brian McVan. Mr. McVan has spent the past several months and a significant amount of money renovating the interior of the 2400 sq. ft. space in order to open a new sports bar and restaurant, to be named The Rock Irish Pub. Some of the recently completed renovations include new flooring, a new bar, and kitchen, paint, roof and façade improvements. The final major improvements to be added include new hurricane rated impact sliding windows/doors along Lake Ave.

In early June, Mr. Oresky submitted a CRA Commercial Façade Grant application for the CRA to assist with the cost of exterior improvements to the property. Due to the need for the business to open as soon as possible, the applicant has advised that the new sliding windows/doors were being installed prior to the July 16th CRA Board Meeting. The CRA and applicant agree that although the improvements are eligible for grant funding, the Board would need to formally agree to award the grant for any work that has already been completed. CRA grant funds are only to be used to cover exterior improvement and construction costs, which can be viewed from the street.
The CRA’s Commercial Façade Grant offers matching funds up to $25,000 per parcel or project. The applicant has advised staff the total costs of new sliding windows/doors is approximately $42,000.

If awarded, the funds would be reimbursed to the applicant after the project has been completed and a certificate of occupancy has been provided by the City. In addition, a lien would ensure that the applicant would not be able to sell or transfer the property within two years of receiving the funds or they risk having to repay the grant.

Creating programs and using financial incentives to facilitate new investment in the CRA district and creating new jobs are primary objectives of the Redevelopment Plan. Staff supports the use of the Commercial Façade Grant funds to assist with the renovation work at 614 Lake Ave. A representative of the project will be present to answer any questions at the CRA Board meeting.

Staff recommended the Board review and award funding for an amount not to exceed $21,000 as part of the CRA’s Commercial Façade Grant. This amount would be sufficient to cover 50% of the new sliding doors/windows. The Board would need to authorize this incentive due to the fact that the work has already been completed. The applicant would enter into a grant agreement and funds will be reimbursed only after completion of the project and paid invoices are provided to the CRA.

Mr. Brian McVan was present to answer questions that the Board had about the grant request.

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to approve funding for an amount not to exceed $21,000 as part of the CRA’s Commercial Façade Grant. This amount would be sufficient to cover 50% of the new sliding doors/windows seconded by Mrs. Foertsch

Vote: All ayes

b. Commercial Façade Grant Application-611 South Dixie Highway

The Commercial Grant Programs offered by the CRA were designed to leverage public funds with private investment, leading to larger commercial projects throughout the CRA District. Mr. Vito Giannola, representing Dixie Capital Partners LLC, is currently assembling multiple parcels near Dixie Highway and ‘H’ Street south of 6th Ave. South. Since 2016, Dixie Capital Partners has invested significant time and resources into this disadvantaged part of the City as they attempt to revitalize the area.

Dixie Capital’s first proposed project in this area will be a new Dunkin Donuts restaurant located at the corner of Dixie Highway and 6th Ave. South. This heavily trafficked intersection has remained either vacant or shuttered for at least the past five years.

Once complete, the project at 611 South Dixie Highway will encompass nearly 2/3 of an acre. Construction of this new restaurant is expected to create up to 20 new permanent jobs to the area. The development will also place a former City-owned vacant lot back onto the tax rolls. Building permits for this project have been approved and construction began in June.

Mr. Giannola has submitted a CRA Commercial Façade Grant application to assist with the cost to construct the new restaurant, drive-thru and parking lot. The total cost of this new construction project is expected to exceed $750,000.

The CRA’s Commercial Façade Grant offers up to $25,000 per parcel or project. The CRA and applicant agree that this project is eligible for the maximum grant amount. Therefore, the applicant has requested CRA grant funding assistance in the amount of $25,000. CRA grant funds are only to be used to cover exterior improvement and construction costs that can be viewed from the street.

If awarded, the funds would be reimbursed to the applicant after the project has been completed and a certificate of occupancy has been provided by the City. In addition, a lien would ensure that the applicant would not be able to sell or transfer the property within two years of receiving the funds or they risk having to repay the grant.

Creating programs for land development and using financial incentives to facilitate new investment in the CRA district, thereby increasing the tax base, is one of the primary objectives of the Redevelopment Plan. Staff supports the use of the Commercial Façade Grant funds to assist with the new construction of this establishment as it is considered part of a comprehensive project that will encompass and improve 5 contiguous parcels. A representative from this project will be present to answer any questions at the CRA Board meeting.

Staff recommended the Board review and award funding for $25,000 as part of the CRA’s Commercial Façade Grant. Staff also requests that the applicant place a visible CRA logo on either their construction fencing or other temporary signage, which indicates the project, is supported by the CRA. Staff stated that there is still funding left in the FY to fund other grant applications.

Mr. Patel, franchisee of Dunkin Donuts, was present to answer any of the Boards questions. Mr. Patel stated that the plans have been submitted to the City for review. He has owned Dunkin Donut franchises for over 20 years in Palm Beach County.

Staff stated that the applicant would enter into a grant agreement and funds will be reimbursed only after completion of the project.

Action: Motion was made Mr. Whitfield to approve the Commercial Façade application for $25,000 for 611 South Dixie Highway seconded by Mr. Rickards.

Vote: All ayes

VI. CONSENT AGENDA:
a. IFB # 01-18/19 Breakroom & New Studio Space Renovations- Select Contractor

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to approve the consent agenda seconded by Mr. Rickards.

Vote: All ayes

VII. PRESENTATION AGENDA:

a. TIF Presentation
Staff made a brief presentation to the Board highlighting the increases in TIF over the last year.

VIII. DISCUSSION AGENDA:

b. FY 19/20 Budget
The CRA Board was presented with the following in their Board packets:

A. Proposed 19/20 Operating, Debt Service and Capital Budget
B. 18/19 CRA amended Budget

The following is a general overview of the 19/20 CRA budget. Any substantial changes from FY 18/19 to 19/20 are described in detail as well as lines that contain multiple expenditures. The attached proposed budget serves as a starting point to allow for Board discussion and priority adjustments.

REVENUES

The calculation of ad valorem property tax revenue is dependent on two components, the assessed value of property in the district, and the millage rate. Over the last seven years, revenues in the District increased 115%. Revenues increased 19% in FY 2014, 23% in 2015, 22% in 2016, 19% in 2017, 16% in 2018 and 16% in 2019. The estimates for the County and City TIF revenues are based on preliminary rates. TIF revenues are estimated to increase approximately $479K.

Values in the District are now slightly above values in 2010 when the City contracted with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and exempted the newly created Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) from paying into the redevelopment fund. This decision in addition to the soon-to-follow recession created a 60% drop in property values and associated revenues the CRA was used to receiving. Although today’s revenues continue to be much lower due to the decrease in City millage, the overall values are 22.5% over those in 2010.

The proposed sources of funding for fiscal year 19/20 budget are comprised of TIF funds, loan proceeds, funds reserved for our annual debt service payment, and interest earnings.

EXPENSES

ADMINISTRATION
Personnel costs are projected to increase from $484K to $506K. The CRA has three full-time and two part-time employees while Lake Worth Arts (LULA) has one part time employee. An increase was proposed to account for additional part time hours, salary increases and an expected increase in health care costs.

Operating
Total operating costs increase slightly from last year’s budget.

Legal expenses increased from $42.5K to $45K accommodate any extra legal work needed related to property dispositions, RFP’s and development agreements.

The promotional activity line increases from $20.5K to $33.5K in an effort to increase our advertising and marketing efforts, especially in the downtown. Printing and binding also increased from $9K to $11K to accommodate color printing needs.

PROGRAMS
The Professional Services line increases slightly from $44K to $45K. Last year we amended the budget to increase this line by $11K to assist with the development of City-wide, thoroughfare design guidelines. This year, we budgeted $45K to pay for typical professional services and to assist the City, if needed with planning studies and or for CRA needed consultants.

The Economic Development/Business Recruitment line item is budgeted at $1.1M. This line will cover the 18/19 approved incentives for the MID project ($400K) and $700K for proposed projects and development agreements Staff is currently negotiating.

Commercial/Retail Attraction Program increased slightly from $450K to $550K. We introduced the new infrastructure program and several new projects took advantage of the funding opportunity. Because several of the already approved projects approved this year are not complete, we are able to carry over the money for one additional year.

In 2004, the CRA and the developer of the Lucerne, Lucerne LLC, executed a TIF rebate agreement for $1.2M. The Lucerne provided 80 condo and three retail units in the downtown. The CRA payments began in 2008. This year is the final payment, refunding tax increment, to the Lucerne project, for $43,196.

For the past two years the Downtown Improvement line item funded new trash and recycling cans and matching benches for Lake and parts of Lucerne. Another $30K is budgeted this year to replace the remaining maroon benches on Lucerne Avenue.

This year $25K is budgeted for Neighborhood Improvements. Funds could be used to purchase new trash cans, street amenities or other small capital items. In addition, $10K is included in Residential grant programs. Last year, the loan and façade program did not have the impact we hoped it would. Staff will tweak these programs in an effort to increase their effectiveness.

BUILDING /ACQUISITIONS
Several line items and funds were added last year to cover costs associated with the purchase or maintenance of properties. These include insurance, property management and utilities for acquired properties and parking lots.

The Property Management line item decreases from $97K to $59,483 because two CRA owned properties are now privately held, including 1000 Lake and 1013 Lucerne. A new line item, demolition and disposition was added to cover the costs of maintenance and disposition of the 29 properties the CRA now owns. A tentative schedule of RFP advertisements and dispositions will be created for the Boards review once all current transactions are complete.

LULA PROGRAM
Overall the LULA budget decreases as we build up the fund balance in the Cultural Renaissance Foundation budget. Sufficient funding was proposed to pay for projects and events that benefit the District such as transformer wraps, murals (FOCUS) and planters. Costs include an as-needed attendant/maintenance person for the gallery.

DEBT SERVICE

The proposed Debt Service budget includes $693K for this year’s loans principal and interest payment and an additional $187K for an added principal payment to help pay down the balance owed.

CAPITAL PROJECT FUND

Expenses include $544K for way-finding signage, approved by the Board in 2017/18, $2,500 to cover any costs related to the Royal Poinciana greenway project, completed in February 2018 and $165K related to the assemblage, planning and disposition needed for the joint CRA/City project in Downtown on both “L” and “M” Streets.

Over the past several years, the CRA has positioned itself as an Agency that can facilitate projects by offering conservative incentives and a good deal of Staff time and support. As values continue to rise and vacant land in the area remains in high demand, more projects will materialize. To accommodate this, Staff recommends continuing our efforts, specifically in economic development and incentive programs. The disposition of CRA held land, in addition to the incentivizing of large-scale projects, would continue the double-digit increases in CRA District values while adding people, commerce and improvements to the area.

As in years past, Staff feels it is imperative to keep a healthy fund balance. For the 19/20 fiscal year, Staff recommends maintaining a 24% reserve. This is higher than the Government Finance Officers Association recommendation of 16- 17% (or two months of unrestricted fund balance) in the general fund operating reserve.

Staff requested the Board review the proposed budget, make any necessary changes and set a date for the required budget approval.

IX. ACTION AGENDA:

c. Vice Chair- Nominate
For the past two years, Brendan Lynch served in the capacity of Board Vice Chair. According to the CRA By-Laws, the term for both Chair and Vice Chair is for two years. Staff is recommending that the Board nominate an individual for this position.

The current CRA By-Laws, in Article 2, Officers and Employees, reads as follows:

2.1 Officers and Terms. The officers of the CRA shall be a Chair and a Vice-Chair, of which the term of office shall be two (2) years. If a vacancy occurs, the individual fulfilling the prior Chair’s term shall serve for the remainder of the prior member’s term until August 1st of the current year. Nominations shall be held on or before August 1 unless otherwise approved by the CRA.

2.2 Chair. The Chair shall be nominated by a majority vote of the members, and a recommendation for appointment shall be sent to the Lake Worth City Commission. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the CRA and shall execute instruments in the name of the CRA as may be required, appoint such committees from time to time as may be deemed appropriate, and shall have general supervision, direction and control over the business and operations of the CRA.

Staff requested that the Board hold nominations for the position of Board Vice- Chair. Once a Vice- Chair is nominated by a majority of the Board, Staff will forward the resulting nomination to the City Commission for approval and appointment.

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to appoint Mr. Rickards as Vice Chair seconded by Mrs. Foertsch.

Vote: All ayes

d. Chair- Nominate
Since August of 2017, Madlyn McKendry served as the CRA Chair. Madlyn served on the CRA Board for eight years until her passing on June 2, 2019, According to the CRA By-Laws, the term for both Chair and Vice Chair is for two years. At this time, Staff recommends that the Board nominate an individual for this position.

The current CRA By-Laws in Article 2, Officers and Employees, reads as follows:

2.1 Officers and Terms. The officers of the CRA shall be a Chair and a Vice-Chair, of which the term of office shall be two (2) years. If a vacancy occurs, the individual fulfilling the prior Chair’s term shall serve for the remainder of the prior member’s term until August 1st of the current year. Nominations shall be held on or before August 1 unless otherwise approved by the CRA.

2.2 Chair. The Chair shall be nominated by a majority vote of the members, and a recommendation for appointment shall be sent to the Lake Worth City Commission. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the CRA and shall execute instruments in the name of the CRA as may be required, appoint such committees from time to time as may be deemed appropriate, and shall have general supervision, direction and control over the business and operations of the CRA.

Staff requested that the Board hold nominations for the position of Board Chair. Once a Chair is nominated by a majority of the Board, Staff will forward the resulting nomination to the City Commission for approval and appointment

Action: Motion was made by Mr. Whitfield to appoint Mr. Lynch as Chair seconded by Mrs. Foertsch.

Mr. Lynch stated he was originally on the Board from 2006-2009. In 2009 he served as Chair for one meeting.

Vote: All ayes

X. EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS’ REPORT:

a. Progress Report

XI. BOARD MEMBERS’ COMMENTS:
Mark Rickards- Welcomed the new board member. Excited to see the new Irish Pub opening downtown.
Tom Copeland- I care about economic development and redevelopment so I appreciate being here.
Leah Foertsch- Thanked the Board. Congratulated the new Chair and Vice Chair. Stated that during the meeting her nephew was born!
Brent Whitfield- Welcomed Tom. Was excited to hear that the Irish Pub owners want to move their residence to Lake Worth also.
Brendan Lynch- Welcomed Tom and thanked Staff.

XII. ADJOURNMENT:
Meeting adjourned at 7:57 p.m.

Important Notice

The The CRA Offices will be closed to the public until further notice. Please contact us by phone or email.

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