Highland Beach News Roundup | News, Notes, and Key Stories Around Highland Beach
AA small, upscale town with an indomitable spirit, Highland Beach has proven to be one of the more fascinating pockets of civilization in South Florida. Beginning with its velveteen yet defiant separation over drinking water, Highland Beach residents now enjoy some of the finest waterfront homes and condos in the country. With only a few thousand residents, 2 businesses, and no traffic lights, this otherwise quiet beachfront town has had plenty of action in the political and social spheres, making big moves to improve the already superb quality of life for its residents. With Summer winding down, we took a look at the news stories that compelled us, and that we felt you should know.
Highland Beach Gets Its Fire Chief
Highland Beach has fought for its fire department, citing improved costs and reduced response time among its prime purposes to finalize its collaboration with Delray Beach FD. While the residents are pleased and respect the years of partnership with Delray Beach, it was time for the city to begin a new era of self-determination. Through this effort, Highland Beach proudly named Glenn Joseph, a veteran of over three decades in fire service as its chief. Mr. Joseph served as Fire Chief of Boynton Beach, Deputy Fire Chief of Boca Raton, and as a lead consultant in the past year to the city of Highland Beach. He is a preeminently qualified and locally experienced leader.
Major A1A Paving Project To Be Previewed For Community
On August 31, the city unveiled its plans to repave the stretch of A1A along Highland Beach, an incremental project that will begin in Spring 2024 and finalize in Summer 2025. With an $8.8M budget, the project will resurface the asphalt, but also expand bike lanes to 5 feet and paint them for demarcation. In addition, drainage improvements will be made to the swales, and lane expansions will slightly encroach on the west side of A1A. While traffic will be reduced in places to a single lane, marked by each phase of construction planned out in spacial increments, there is no expected impediment to foot and bike traffic.
Fire Department Project Scores Crucial Licensing Win
With few residential fires to concern themselves with, the prime purpose of the new Highland Beach FD is to reduce response times and localize a crew of paramedics on call. The Palm Beach County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council had reconsidered the city's application for a COPCN (Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity), which is necessary to establish EMS services. With so much red tape and bureaucratic layering to forge beyond, it's a small miracle they've made it this far, but if there's one thing Highland Beach has learned from its inception - it's that good reason and sound policy should never be usurped by purposelessly powerful government agents.
Town Employees Receive 3% Bonus
To combat what is now a yearlong (and beyond) inflationary crisis, Highland Beach has granted its employees a 3% bonus to push against the crushing cost increases across almost all necessities. A well-funded, and well-managed town, Highland Beach city workers will receive the bonus from its nearly $10M in cash reserved, which the city plans to replace with unspent funds from the current fiscal year - a move that benefits everyone without taxing a single additional dollar.
After 18 months of research and retrofitting, the sleek new $90,000 Tesla Police Cruiser will begin its patrol over the streets of Highland Beach, which exclusively reside on A1A. The donated vehicle (not pictured) does not replace any vehicles, reduces maintenance costs and downtime, and provides the patrolmen with a shiny new, albeit incognito means to quietly and efficiently patrol the streets. Highland Beach isn't the first to feature a Tesla as part of its fleet, but it features the most significantly modified. It features a second battery to ensure police electronics are kept on while the Tesla shuts down, along with new radar, computing, and communications systems. There is nothing like it anywhere in Palm Beach County.
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