Jamaican American Mayor Highlights Development In Lauderdale Lakes

Author  DAWN A. DAVIS

The growth and development of Lauderdale Lakes were highlighted by the South Florida city’s Jamaican American Mayor Hazelle Rogers during her “State of the City” address last month.

RogersDubbed the “We Care” city, Lauderdale Lakes continues to grow at a clip necessitating the approval of new residential developments, according to Rogers.

“The Atlantic Luxury Rental Project is now complete with a total of 420 apartments,” she said. “The Bella Vista project has added yet another beauty to our city with 74 town homes and villas.

“Your city, along with the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), took a huge step to diversify our housing stock by dedicating the 20 plus or minus acres at Commerce Park located at 31st and Oakland to build 77 luxury estate homes in a gated community named The Cassia Estates. And, we have also approved a 62 unit owner occupied condominium waterfront development on 21st street, which will provide market rate housing.”

IMPROVEMENTS

Rogers also explained that the city’s re-development plan, through the CRA, is focused on improving transportation mobility, community policing strategies, economic development, and commercial revitalization opportunities.

“The CRA has funded pre-construction cost totaling over $200,000 for the N.W. 31 Avenue Roadway Improvement Project to install a sidewalk, re-pave roadway, lighting features, and landscaping in addition to $7,500 to businesses for machinery and equipment,” said Rogers.

“The CRA is making a significant investment to revitalize our commercial district. Over $169,000 was awarded to the Lauderdale Lakes Industrial Park which is located in the Foreign Trade Zone to make commercial facade improvements totaling $1.4 million. We are leveraging dollars to complete major projects in the CRA area,” she added.

Lauderdale Lakes is one of 30 cities in Broward County, Florida. Since its city designation in 1961, it has increased its population from 300 to more than 36,000.

KEY

The mayor said that one of the key areas of focus today is bringing investors to Lauderdale Lakes. She mentioned the creation of an entertainment district as part of the city’s strategy to attract visitors and businesses.

But, with 44 miles of roadways, 22 miles of canal banks and 15 miles of storm water drains and culverts there are hurdles to clear. Among them is canal bank erosion, according to Rogers.

“The financial process currently being used is not efficient or effective, and with further delays will be more costly to you, our taxpayers,” she explained.

Rogers said the city used $1.6 million to address debris removal and damage to various locations caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017. The city, she added, “is currently awaiting reimbursement from FEMA  (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to recover a portion of its costs. To date, the  ity has received over $18,000. We are still waiting on the reimbursement of the larger amount of approximately $1.3 million.”

Rogers said Lauderdale Lakes has an excellent relationship with the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) and is currently in contract negotiations with the new sheriff to continue a partnership that resulted in a 16 percent reduction in the crime rate in 2018, compared to 2017, according to the December 2018 Uniform Crime Report.

Rogers also bragged about “Unifest”, Lauderdale Lakes’ signature event, that draws thousands every year. The Caribbean-themed event is a major draw to the city. The newest jamboree, “Taste of Lauderdale Lakes” brings together foodies in celebration of Caribbean and American cuisine, family, and community.

Rogers reminded the audience she is also part of the community.

“Your elected officials are residents also, and we love our ‘We Care’ city of Lauderdale Lakes,” she said.

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