Orange County Proposed Budget – $285 Million for Public Works

first_img You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment! According to County Commissioner Bryan Nelson, “The Orange County Public Works Department does an amazing job with the infrastructure that most of us take for granted.”The Public Works Department of Orange County is responsible for an array of services including, building and maintaining the county’s roads, drainage, and stormwater networks. The work the Department does on a daily basis is crucial due to a growing population and the increased number of vehicles on the roads. More specifically, the department makes sure that roads and pedestrian walkways are efficient, effective, and safe for travel of all Orange County residents. In addition, the department works with the community, industry groups, and agencies to determine infrastructure needs. Public Works plays a major role in the mitigation of flooding due to storms by overseeing the county’s stormwater infrastructure and controlling stormwater runoff. The Public Works Department is made up of seven divisions all with a specific mission. These include the Development Engineering, Fiscal & Operational Support, Highway Construction, Public Works Engineering, Roads & Drainage, Stormwater Management, and Traffic Engineering divisions.County CommissionerBryan NelsonIn the past fiscal year Public Works has been successful in maintaining 2,835 miles of roadways, 1,772 retention ponds, 593 traffic signals, and 25, 616 traffic signs. It has also successfully installed 6.2 miles of new sidewalks, and resurfaced 175 miles of arterial, collector, and subdivision roads.There are nearly $99 million included in the proposed operating budget for Public Works as part of the fiscal year (FY) 2016-2017 budget. This funding will ensure all roads, traffic signals, and drainage systems are successfully maintained for all county residents. The major source of revenue for the Public Works comes from sales tax revenue. Traditionally a majority of revenue for the department came from the fuel tax, but with fuel efficiency technology advancing revenue from this funding source has decreased. Orange County has filled in this funding gap with $82 million from sales tax revenue.Public Works expenditures can be categorized into two categories, operating and non-operating expenditures. Personnel services are a major subcategory of operating expenditures. This includes employee salaries, and benefits including health care, stormwater structures, and facilities. Total personnel expenditure is $99 Million. Non-personnel expenditures include capital improvements. This includes funding for new and expanded roadways, repaving, pedestrian safety, strormwater, drainage, and traffic improvements. Total non-operating expenditures are $187 Million. Part of the budget also includes funding from the INVEST In Our Home for Life initiative.Use this link to see details of the operating and non-operating expenditures.The INVEST in Our Home for Life initiative is a $300 million initiative aimed at providing quality infrastructure, vibrant neighborhoods and quality housing, enhanced recreational opportunities, and new public safety facilities among others. As part of this initiative $200 million will be provided to complete funding of new roadways, improvement of current roadways, and current traffic congestion in several areas through the county. Ten projects have been approved by the Board of County Commissioners. There are also district specific projects including the pavement of Memorial Cemetery Road located in District 2. This project is budgeted at $45,000 and is pending construction approval.For more information regarding the INVEST in Our Home for Life initiative and the Public Works budget visit the initiative’s webpage found at http://orangecountyfl.net/. If you would like a more in-depth explanation of any of Orange County Government’s Financial Policies you can contact the Office of Management and Budget at (407) 836-7390 or see Orange County’s Administrative Regulations.You may also visit: http://www.ocfl.net/OpenGovernment/Budgets.aspx TAGSOrange County Commissioner Bryan NelsonOrange County Public Works Previous articleHow will Tractor Supply affect Apopka traffic?Next articleWater Managament District provides flooding info Dale Fenwick RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Please enter your name here UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Save my name, read more

Zuma: Xenophobic attacks defy South African values

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma expressed his condemnation of the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in KwaZulu-Natal when he addressed the National Assembly on Thursday, 16 April. President Jacob Zuma told the National Assembly that the xenophobic attacks defies South African values of respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu. (Image: Department of Arts and Culture) President Jacob ZumaDuring the past week we have witnessed shocking and unacceptable incidents of violence directed at foreign nationals in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal, which has now spread to some parts of Gauteng. Similar incidents had taken place in Soweto in January.No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops.We condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. The attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies, especially the respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu.Our country stands firmly against all intolerances such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism.We extend our condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives and wish the injured a speedy recovery.We appeal for calm, an end to the violence and restraint. Criminal elements should not be allowed to take advantage of the concerns of citizens to sow mayhem and destruction.Any problems or issues of concern to South African citizens must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue.The police have been directed to work round the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens and to arrest looters and those committing acts of violence.We urge communities to assist the police by providing information on the incidents that have taken place in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.We thank religious leaders, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders who are providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced people.While we strongly condemn the attacks, we are aware of, and are sympathetic to some of the issues that have been raised by affected South African citizens.We reiterate our view that South Africans are generally not xenophobic. If they were, we would not have such a high number of foreign nationals who have been successfully integrated into communities all over our country, in towns, cities and villages.There are socio-economic issues that have been raised which are being attended to.These include complaints about illegal and undocumented immigrants in the country, the increase in the number of shops or small businesses that have been taken over by foreign nationals and also perceptions that foreign nationals commit or perpetrate crime.We wish to emphasise that while some foreign nationals have been arrested for various crimes, it is misleading and wrong to label or regard all foreign nationals as being involved in crime in the country.In addition, not all foreign nationals who reside in our country are here illegally.Many are in the country legally and contribute to the economy and social development of the country. Many bring skills that are scarce that help us to develop the economy and are most welcome to live our country.Others came to South Africa as refugees having run away from conflict or wars in their countries of origin, in the same way that many South Africans left this country at some point and lived in other countries in the continent and beyond.We were treated with generosity, dignity and respect by our brothers and sisters from the rest of the continent. We will never forget that hospitality and solidarity.The support of the Frontline states in Southern Africa and that of the Organisation for African Unity was critical to the achievement of the freedom and democracy we are enjoying today.In this regard, Government will continue to play its role and fulfil our responsibilities and obligations as members of the African Union and the United Nations.Refugees and asylum seekers will be accorded support in line with international law and protocols, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.We appeal to our people to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers.During the weekend, I deployed the Ministers of Police, State Security and Home Affairs to work with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government to quell the violence and bring the situation to normality. They have done well but the problem requires a much more comprehensive and sustainable long-term intervention.I have therefore assigned the entire Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to work on this issue intensively, joined by the Ministers of Social Development, Trade and Industry and Small Business Development.The security cluster and economic departments had already begun working on this matter, following the Soweto incidents in January.I have now directed them to work faster and to engage affected communities, organisations representing foreign nationals, business, non-governmental read more

10 months agoNew Inter Milan chief Marotta adds Mourinho to shortlist

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say New Inter Milan chief Marotta adds Mourinho to shortlistby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveInter Milan are eyeing Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho for a second spell.The Sunday Express says Inter are considering parting company Luciano Spalletti next summer after they crashed out of the Champions League and trail leaders Juventus by 14 points in Serie A.Mourinho is one of the names Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta is considering along with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte should they not extend Spalletti’s contract which runs out at the end of the season.Mourinho arrived at United in 2016 to replace Louis van Gaal and he won the Europa League and League Cup in his first season.But this season has seen up upset with the United board over their failure to sign a central defender before the summer transfer window closed. last_img

Ontario lost 1000 planned rental units since new housing rules introducedreport

first_imgTORONTO – At least 1,000 planned rental units in Ontario have been cancelled or converted to condominiums since the province introduced new rent control rules, a report released by a group representing rental-housing providers said as it warned of a supply crunch if the issue isn’t addressed.The report, commissioned by the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario and released Monday, said the Liberal government’s Fair Housing Plan has negatively impacted the province’s rental housing supply.Before the introduction of the government legislation, 28,000 rental units were in the planning pipeline, but since the new rules were introduced 1,000 of those units have been cancelled or converted to condominiums, the report said.The federation’s president, Jim Murphy, said Ontario needs 34,000 rental units built a year to keep pace with demand and it is currently falling 6,250 short each year.“We need more supply, full stop,” Murphy said. “And we’ve got to encourage everyone, the industry included but also governments to come to the table with policies that will create the environment for new rental units”In April, the Ontario government announced what it called a comprehensive housing package aimed at cooling a red-hot real estate market.Amongst the 16 measures were a 15 per cent non-resident speculation tax to be imposed on buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations and expanded rent control that will applied to all private rental units, including those built after 1991, which were previously excluded.According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data in the report, vacancy rates in the province have already fallen to 2.1 per cent across the province.Murphy said both provincial and municipal governments could make policy and tax changes to help encourage developers to deliver more purpose-built rentals.“The problem right now is that there has been uncertainty created because of that change and we’re starting to see cancellations of projects at a time when we need more supply,” he said.Housing Minister Peter Milczyn said the province does not plan to change rules which cap annual rent increases.“I am listening to the industry, monitoring the situation, but we’re taking our action, which was to ensure there’s fair rental policies for tenants and releasing surplus provincial lands to build more rental supply,” Milczyn said.Milczyn said he is skeptical about the findings of the report, adding that over the past decade only about six per cent of housing starts in Ontario were for rental housing.“Under the old rent control regime that wasn’t generating lots of purpose-built rental housing,” he said.last_img

Construction to go ahead on Site C dam but cost soars to

first_imgVICTORIA – The B.C. government had no choice but to complete the Site C hydroelectric dam rather than absorb a $4 billion hit to its bottom line by cancelling the project, which would have jeopardized plans for more spending on schools, hospitals and bridges, Premier John Horgan said Monday.The price tag for Site C is rising, with the $8.3 billion dam on the Peace River in northeast B.C. now estimated to cost $10.7 billion.The government estimated the $4 billion cost of terminating Site C would amount to $860 for each B.C. resident. Horgan said he could not ask people to take on such a debt and get nothing in return.The province also risked a credit downgrade and debt-servicing costs of up to $150 million annually if the project was cancelled. It could also mean a one time, 12 per cent rate hike that would last for a decade, Horgan said.“We have listened,” said Horgan. “We have deliberated and we have debated and at the end of the day we have come to the conclusion that although Site C is not the project we would have favoured, and it’s not the project we would have started, it must be completed to meet the objectives of our government.”The decision on the project’s future is one of the first major challenges the minority NDP government has faced since it came to power this summer.Site C has been at the centre of a polarized debate between politicians, environmentalists, First Nations, labour groups and landowners in the Peace River Valley.Horgan said he has met with Indigenous groups, construction workers, environmental activists and residents about Site C.“I can say without hesitation this is a very very divisive issue,” said Horgan, adding he and his wife have argued about the dam.The decision to complete Site C, which has been under construction for more than two years, caused intense debate in his caucus and cabinet, he said.The $4 billion cost of cancelling the project could fund 66 secondary schools or 11 hospital projects, 12 highway improvements or three bridges in Metro Vancouver, Horgan said.Former premier Christy Clark gave Site C the green light in December 2014, saying the decision to approve the province’s most expensive megaproject marked a historic milestone that would be felt for a century.Horgan said the Liberals have taken Site C to the point of no return.“They gave us, sadly, just one clear choice,” he said. “That was to proceed with a $10.7 billion project or cancel a project and absorb $4 billion in construction and remediation costs.”National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said Indigenous people will likely take the matter to court.“I am confident that First Nations will continue their efforts to stop Site C and the next step will be legal challenges,” he said in a statement.The government asked the B.C. Utilities Commission to determine if Site C would be finished by 2024 and on budget, while providing advice on proceeding with the project, suspending construction until 2024, or terminating it.The province’s independent energy regulator concluded in its report last month that the dam is over budget and behind schedule.The Opposition Liberals, who started Site C, applauded the NDP’s decision.“For the businesses, for the families, for the local First Nations in the area, this is the right decision,” said Mike Bernier, who represents Peace River South in the legislature.Green Leader Andrew Weaver said the decision could end up costing more than the new estimate of $10.7 billion.“Today, it’s $10.7 billion projected cost,” he said. “So, who believes the $10.7 billion? I certainly don’t.”Site C has been part of the province’s hydroelectric generation plans since 1958.It will be the third dam on the Peace River in northeastern B.C., flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of valley near Fort St. John. It will provide enough power to light up to 450,000 homes a year.BC Hydro’s environmental impact statement for Site C forecasts flooding more than 5,550 hectares of land, of which at least 3,800 hectares is agricultural. Site C would also flood Indigenous heritage sites and force up to 20 families, many lifelong ranchers, to move.last_img

June building numbers double yeartodate construction value in Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The city of Fort St. John has released building numbers for the month of June which show that the value of construction last month more than doubled the year-to-date total.According to the statistics for June, construction was started on eleven projects, with a total value of $7,699,000.At the end of May, the total value of construction in the Energetic City was $7,251,650, which means that the total value of construction so far this year now totals $14,950,650. Though last month’s statistics are encouraging, 2018 is so far on track to be a slower year than last year, when the year-to-date construction value at this time was $17,499,500.So far in 2018, there have been 49 building permits in the city, most of which are for commercial construction or for garage/renovations.Last month, the majority of permits were issued for renovations, but the big increase in value came from multiple-family home and industrial construction.The largest project started in June was an industrial project by Urban Systems in the 9100 block of 77th Ave. worth just under $4.2 million.Another $2 million project was begun in the 11500 block of 91st Ave., while a multi-family home at 8303 92 Ave. was valued at $1 million.With the big increase in construction value, the City saw a big jump in revenues compared to the month prior. Last month, the City saw revenues of $70,820.90 from permits and charges, bringing the year-to-date total to $119,707.90.Despite the large increase, revenues from permits and fees are still $50,000 less than at this point a year ago.last_img

Nirav Modi intends to appeal for bail in UK High Court

first_imgLondon: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, undergoing extradition proceedings in the UK, intends to appeal for bail in the UK High Court after a second bail application was rejected by a lower court in London last week in the USD 1-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian authorities through the extradition process in the UK courts, said the 48-year-old intends to appeal against Judge Emma Arbuthnot’s decision to turn down his bail plea at the end of a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last Friday on the grounds that there was a substantial risk he would fail to surrender . Mr Modi intends to appeal his bail decision, but he has not yet submitted the appeal, a CPS spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday. The diamond merchant, who has been behind bars at HMP Wandsworth in south-west London ever since his first bail application was rejected on March 20, can apply for a High Court bail appeal at any time until his next remand hearing on April 26. However, his legal team must give the CPS 48 hours’ notice and the bail hearing must be listed within 48 hours of the appeal being lodged in the higher court. We are not making any comment at this time, Modi’s solicitor Anand Doobay said, in reference to plans for a bail appeal application. It remains to be seen how Modi’s legal team is able to further bolster the bail application after Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot ruled that 1 million pounds offered as security for bail as well as the offer to meet stringent electronic tag restrictions on their client’s movements, “akin to house arrest”, were not sufficient to convince her that he did not pose a flight risk. This is a case of substantial fraud, with loss to a bank in India of between USD 1-2 billion. I am not persuaded that the conditional bail sought will meet the concerns of the government of India in this case, the judge noted.last_img

From Russia With Love Bond girl Nadja Regin dies at 87

first_imgLondon: Serbia-born actor Nadja Regin, best known for starring in Bond films “From Russia With Love” and “Goldfinger”, died Monday at the age of 87. The official James Bond Twitter account shared the news on the microblogging site. “We are very sorry to learn that Nadja Regin has passed away at the age of 87. Nadja appeared in two Bond films, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and GOLDFINGER. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time (sic),” the tweet read. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USShe was best known for her role as the mistress of Kerim Bey in “From Russia with Love” and had a smaller appearance as Bonita in the pre-credit sequence of “Goldfinger”, which featured Sean Connery as the iconic British spy. Regin also worked for the small screen and her TV roles included shows such as “The Avengers”, “Danger Man”, “The Saint” and “Dixon of Dock Green”. The actor appeared in several British TV programmes in the 1960s and also appeared in the 1964 New Zealand film “Runaway”. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsIn the 1970s, she worked in select scripts for film companies including Rank Films and Hammer Films. After a decade, the actor moved away from the limelight to set up a small publishing company alongside her sister Jelena, which specialised in history and philosophy. She also wrote a novel, titled “The Victims and the Fools”, which she published under her full name Nadja Poderegin. The news of Regin’s death comes a week after her “Goldfinger” co-star Tania Mallet, 77, passed away.last_img

A terrible decision

first_imgThere is a whole host of implications and reasons to criticise the Central government’s move to ban civilian traffic movement on the nearly 300 km-stretch from Udhampur to Baramulla districts of National Highway 44 in Kashmir from 4 am to 5 pm every Sunday and Wednesday till May 31. A massive contingent of forces in small units have been deployed along the highway to enforce the ban. This decision is explained to be with the purpose of facilitating the movement of army and paramilitary convoys (they could have been airlifted) into Kashmir valley so as to ensure smooth conduct of the approaching general elections. This highway is the only stretch of road that connects Kashmir valley to mainland India. Naturally, this leads to significant disruption in the life of a common Kashmiri and also of every other civilian that would travel on that road. The plight of the local people is more serious as it covers a range of genuine situations such as medical patients, school children, traders and business owners, farmers and horticulturists, regular employees and even drivers of public transport. Also Read – A compounding difficulty Even before this highway ban draws criticism regarding its various impacts (which have already started to show since Sunday), a more legitimate and obvious question that must be raised is that why is there just one real connecting channel to India’s most strategic location. Kashmir is not a region to quarantine for its volatility for which successive Union governments have been responsible. As resolution of a dispute can have more than one ways, a territory can be brought closer by more ways than one. It stands obvious and emphasised that capitalising a situation for the gain of predominant politics takes a heavy toll on the common man. Apart from the disruption of day-to-day life of the common civilian, the economic impact of this ill-thought and senseless order on the region at large is a serious one. Kashmir was in the process of recovering from the losses from prolonged shut-down during the uprising following militant Burhan Wani’s elimination in July 2016 , and the massive floods that ravaged the region in September 2014. As trade will suffer massively, the regional economy is bound to take a hit in this election-centric politics. This short-term preventive measure will only add to the long-term detriment the Indian state has fomented in Kashmir.last_img

Indias first extremist was a Hindu Kamal Haasan

first_imgAravakurichi/New Delhi: Actor-politician Kamal Haasan has said independent India’s first “extremist was a Hindu”– Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi, stoking a controversy with the BJP on Monday asserting that an “assassin” is very different from a terrorist. The BJP also accused the Makkal Needhi Maiyam founder of indulging in “divisive politics” and following the Congress and Communists in showing Hindus “in a bad light to appease minorities”. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghAddressing an election campaign in Tamil Nadu’s Aravakurichi on Sunday night, Haasan said he was one of those “proud Indians” who desires an India of equality and where the “three colours in the tricolour remained intact”, in an obvious reference to different faiths. “I am not saying this because this is a Muslim dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Independent India’s first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (extremism, apparently) starts,” he said. Haasan said he was a “self-assumed great-grandson” of Gandhi and that he had come here “seeking answers for that murder,” referring to Gandhi’s assassination in 1948. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadHaasan’s comments drew sharp reactions with the state BJP unit approaching the Election Commission seeking action against him for alleged “gross violation” of the Model Code of Conduct and in New Delhi, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying he does not understand the difference between an assassin and a terrorist. “It proves that he does not understand the difference between an assassin and a terrorist. An assassin is very different from a terrorist. Therefore if only he goes through the entire history and also follows up on the trial of Mahatma Gandhi he would know the difference,” Sitharaman told a press conference. She was responding to a question on Haasan’s comments in Tamil that free India’s first “terrorist” was a Hindu as he named Godse, who shot dead Mahatma Gandhi.last_img