Boynton Beach commissioners discussed five major topics at their meeting Tuesday including red-light cameras, raising garbage fees and a dog beach.
Here’s how they voted:
What: They’re coming back in Boynton.
Read more here: Red-light cameras coming back to Boynton Beach
Medical marijuana dispensaries:
What: In November, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 2, making marijuana available to people with certain illnesses. The state has licensed organizations to grow, distribute and sell medical marijuana. The law went into effect July 1.
While the state worked on their law, the city worked on a local law. But city staff recently found out that portions of the local law — such as how many dispensaries will open in the city and where — are moot according to state law. State law says rules for locating dispensaries can’t be tougher than the ones on pharmacies. The City Commission can either allow the dispensaries to open in the city and not restrict them more than pharmacies; allow the stores but change requirements for pharmacies in order to write stricter rules; or ban the dispensaries.
Vote: The dispensaries will be allowed to open in the city and officials will not restrict them more than pharmacies.
Raising garbage rates:
What: The first of two votes allowing a $1 per month increase on residential garbage rates for the next two years. If approved, beginning Oct. 1, single-family home rates would be $17 per month and multifamily home rates would be $13.75 per month. Those increases would bring about $460,000 a year in revenue to the city. For 2018-19, the rate for single-family would be $18 per month. Vehicle and personnel costs for Solid Waste are rising, and the city wants to keep enough money in the Solid Waste fund to be able to handle unexpected emergencies.
Vote: The majority voted against this increase, so the rates will not change. There will be no second vote. Now the city’s budget is short that $460,000.
Texting while driving:
What: State Rep. Emily Slosberg has asked Boynton to support legislation that would make the ban on texting while driving a primary offense. As it is now, police officers cannot pull over drivers who are texting while driving because it is a secondary offense. Slosberg said new legislation would save lives, prevent injuries and prevent property damages.
Vote: The commission supports Slosberg’s move for new legislation.
What: Commissioner Joe Casello has requested to discuss allowing dogs at Oceanfront Park beach during certain hours. If the dogs could be confined to one area, he said the dogs wouldn’t need to wear leashes. If not, they would wear them. “Just to have the ability to have dogs be on the beach and enjoy the water would be a huge success,” Casello said.
Vote: Commissioners supported Casello. The city will work on plans to make this happen.