Submitted by cmosteller on Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:41

FAC News Clips – July 16 & 17, 2017

 

Local News

 

Gainesville Sun

County landscape irrigation code saved 9 million gallons of water

Nine million gallons of water were saved during the first year of the Landscape Irrigation Efficiency Design Code enacted by the Alachua County Commission in April 2016. The code was created to improve landscape irrigation efficiency, water quality and to reduce discretionary outdoor water use in new construction developments in unincorporated Alachua County, said Stacie Greco, the county’s water conservation coordinator. Greco shared the water savings and other results from the first year of the code during a recent commission meeting.

 

Pensacola News Journal

Santa Rosa County looks at $140 million budget for upcoming year

Santa Rosa County is in budget talks, and next week the public has a chance to sit in on workshops to further examine a $140 million plan that county budget director Jayne Bell calls "strong and conservative." "Our stewardship has paid off," Bell said. "Because we've been conservative and managed these funds well, our budget is sustainable. Because we've been conservative, we've not had to dig into our reserves."  The county budget was $127 million in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The majority of the $13 million increase for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, is a result of the local option sales tax, which Bell said should pull in approximately $7.9 million.

 

Miami Herald

Miami-Dade commissioner readies transit-tax fight

Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez has tapped a string of elected officials to help him pressure the county to stop using a transportation tax to plug holes in the transit budget. Suarez wants to divert tax dollars from the county's cash-strapped transit agency to a plan to spend at least $3 billion expanding rail countywide. On Thursday, he led a progression of local officials, including Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Florida Rep. Kionne McGhee, urging the board that oversees the tax to back ending the transit subsidy.

 

Punta Gorda Herald

Sheriff’s submitted budget up 6.7 percent

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has submitted a budget for fiscal year 2017/2018 to the Board of County Commissioners with a 6.7 percent increase. Pending approval, the final number is $65,440,036, which exceeds the current budget by $4,125,132. The number includes a 4 percent pay increase, at a total of $1,170,470, to stay competitive with other agencies. Sheriff Bill Prummell said recruitment and retention of law enforcement personnel is a problem throughout the country, and CCSO is no exception.

 

Drug Abuse

 

Bradenton Herald

State, feds finally join fight against opioid crisis

The widespread devastation of the opioid crisis becomes clearer with each new report. Nationwide, opioids have helped increase mortality rates for the first time this century, and drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. In Florida, during the first six months of 2016, opioids killed an average of 14 people every day. Only a comprehensive, aggressive response coordinated by the federal and state governments will start to reverse the drug epidemic that is ravaging families and communities.

 

Associated Press

Feds give Florida $3 million grant for treatment drug courts

The federal government is giving the state $3 million for drug court programs in the wake of an opioid epidemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Friday the funds will bolster drug court programs for those in the criminal justice system with substance use disorders and mental health problems. The programs have been praised for connecting people struggling with addiction to treatments with oversight from the courts to make sure they are following through.

 

Short Term Rentals

 

Miami Herald

Miami-Dade is an Airbnb battleground. So why are home sharing companies coming here?

The ongoing battle with Airbnb in Miami-Dade hasn’t deterred the maturing short-term rental industry from putting down roots in South Florida. In fact, a number of home sharing companies have picked Miami-Dade as their headquarters or have a strong presence locally, each carving out its own niche as controversy swirls around the industry. Some cater to local renters, others offer an experience similar to hotels, and still others work only in the shrinking space of legal short-term renting.