Mayor Josh Levy’s annual State of the City of Hollywood address took place during a recent Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce meeting.
During the address, Levy praised the efforts of the community over the past year.
“We put into motion plans for both public and private investments that will touch and improve every corner of our city – for the benefit of everyone who lives, learns, works, invests and plays in our city,” said Levy.
Throughout his remarks, Levy highlighted some of the major highlights over the past year.
Approval, by Hollywood voters in March, of the General Obligation Bond
“We had a very successful initial bond offering for the first $70M in projects, thanks to our city’s ability to demonstrate sound fiscal management and an ever growing economic base.”
The General Obligation Bond is setting forth a massive $165 million investment in the public assets of the city, including renewed neighborhood infrastructure, investments in resiliency and open space, much needed public safety assets, including a new police headquarters, and revitalized parks, playgrounds, sports fields and golf courses where families can gather, play and enjoy the natural beauty of Hollywood.
Growth of Hollywood’s economic base and and increase in residential and commercial property values in Hollywood
“When I took office, I announced a goal to get Hollywood to be an $18 billion city within 5 years. It was ambitious, and some people said it was overly ambitious. But look at us now; we’re up $4.2 billion in three years, and we are set to surpass the $18 billion dollar mark – a year ahead of time, when this year’s numbers are published by our county property appraiser in the summer.”
In the last three years, Hollywood’s total taxable property value has grown from $13.2 billion to $17.4 billion, the highest every property value for Hollywood, according to Levy.
For every billion dollars in growth, the Hollywood government receives approximately an additional $7.5 million in annual revenue to the city budget General Fund.
The work city staff is doing to improve services
Levy spoke about City of Hollywood employees who work hard every day for the benefit of the people of Hollywood.
Levy said it is significant to note that through adherence to the highest standards of police service, in 2019, the Hollywood Police Department was awarded Re-accreditation status from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. The Fire Rescue and Beach Safety maintained the coveted ISO Class 1 ranking for the 18th consecutive year. And we cut the Ribbon on a new fire station, Fire Station 45 on 64th Avenue.
The landmark 2018 Interlocal Agreement that was reached between Broward County, the City and the CRA, the City
There’s $9.8 million in play for these programs right now and with a total value to Hollywood under this agreement of over $100 million dollars over the next 18 years. The fruits of that labor will improve the homes and lives of hundreds of Hollywood residents, according to Levy.
Work began on the implementation of a wide variety of housing programs to improve and invest in the city’s low to moderate income neighborhoods, including, in part, owner-occupied home rehabilitation facilities, demonstration blocks, first-time home buyer programs, work-skills programs and much more.
Other accomplishments include new Deep Injection Wells funded for our wastewater plant to divert effluent flows away from Ocean Outfall, new senior affordable housing will soon to be completed. There are relaxed paddle sports rules for the beach. There are Little Free Libraries at city neighborhood parks. There is a new micro-transit transportation circulator service providing on-demand service for Downtown Hollywood, Federal Highway and Hollywood Beach. A new beach parking garage was completed.
Goals for 2020
Some of the goals for 2020 include continuing work on projects that have been in the works since 2018 and 2019. This includes ushering in millions of additional dollars in roadway, mobility, and traffic congestion improvements through the new County Surtax. means seeing FDOT finish the A1A roadway improvement project in the near future.
Another major goal for 2020 deals with the City’s homeless population. The Homeless Task Force will issue recommendations of how we can help those in our society who need to be rehoused.