Dear Hlllsboro Beach Neighbors,
It’s been a typical sweltering South Florida summer so far. Nonetheless, the County’s sewer project has been moving ahead. Given the conditions they are working under, the Lanzo construction team deserves a lot of credit. Mid-to-late September is the estimated “substantial” completion date for the project, including testing of the new system and re-paving. There may be “remediation” (tweaking) required following the testing, but the heavy-lifting will be complete in September – assuming the target date is achieved. This will make it a one-year project, as planned. The number of weeks residents have had to deal with a full road-closure, however, has been far greater than planned. Per the County, the final full-closure at 1121 Hillsboro Mile, which began on July 8, is scheduled to last 6 – 9 weeks. For the most part, residents have been cooperative and in agreement that a temporary road-closure is better than raw sewage in our front yards. Thank you for your continuing patience. The traffic flow through Town should be back to normal for the 2019/2020 Season, with no road obstructions in Hillsboro Beach and the Camino Real Bridge in Boca Raton re-opened.
Besides the road-closure, another ongoing source of frustration has been the amount of sargassum seaweed continuing to invade the beach twice daily. This is a problem all along the South Florida coast-line, and according to scientists, will not be going away any time soon. After much discussion, the Commission has agreed that continued use of the beach-raker is the best and only course of action. Research has shown that plowing the seaweed into the sand (as the beach-raker does) actually helps fight erosion, stabilizing the beach. Conversely, trying to remove the seaweed is not only extremely costly, it also removes precious sand from the beach.
Also relating to the beach, the Commission recently approved an ordinance requiring property owners to maintain their beach side property to the same standards as the rest of their property. This means trash on the beach and in the dunes needs to be addressed. The beach-raker does not clear trash from the dune line. A residents’ group with special interest in the beach has come together under the leadership of resident Stephanie Steinberg. The group has been dubbed the Hillsboro Beach Green Team. Any resident interested in joining the group can contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding the beach litigation with Deerfield, there is not much to report. Efforts are still being made to reach a settlement. The trial date, previously set for later this month, may be pushed back in hopes of reaching a successful settlement.
Some good news for our beach: As of July, all 31 buoys were finally in place for the first time in a long while. Let’s hope we are spared any major storms in the coming months so we can hang on to them!
In closing, I would like to thank you again for your patience with the County’s sewer project. It may not seem like it, but we are very fortunate the County agreed to replace our aging system. All along the coast in South Florida where people first settled, the infrastructure is aged and in horrible condition. We are now ahead of the curve with a new water main and a new sewer main. These are improvements we can’t see, but for which we should be grateful, nonetheless.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and as always, the Commission stands ready to assist you with Town issues in any way we can!