Executive Director reports significant progress at Annual Landowners’ meeting
Reflecting on a year of activities, accomplishments and progress, Lake Worth Drainage District Executive Director Robert M. Brown presented a “State of the District” address during the recent Annual Landowners’ Meeting on January 7, 2015.
The year began with an unprecedented rainfall event on January 9, 2014. Described by the National Weather Service as South Florida’s top weather story of the year, the record-breaking event dropped more than 22 inches in the Boynton Beach/Hypoluxo area east of I-95. Some of these areas experienced approximately 15 inches of rain in just three hours. This extreme volume of rain during a very short duration exceeded stormwater system designs for several older communities that were constructed prior to current regulations.
To further enhance the District’s water control operations, the agency is investing significant resources on future infrastructure improvements. Last year, planning began on the development and implementation of a telemetry system that will automate the operation of 10 water control structures. This enhanced technology will transmit real-time data on canal water elevations and allow water managers remote access to make immediate water supply and flood control decisions. Additionally, the District initiated development of a Capital Improvement Plan to facilitate the maintenance and refurbishment of the public water control infrastructure.
Throughout 2014, the agency’s streamlined Operations & Maintenance staff successfully completed numerous infrastructure projects, including stabilization of deteriorating canal banks, removal of trees impeding access to canal rights-of-way, and refurbishment of several aging water control structures. In addition to the systematic mowing of the District’s 500 miles of canal banks, field staff also began the installation of improved vegetation barriers in canals and increased mechanical removal of aquatic vegetation to reduce dependency on chemical treatment.
The District successfully managed its $13 million annual budget and continues its commitment to seek efficiencies while enhancing the level of service for our constituents. Considerable savings were realized in maintenance costs through equipment leasing programs and the replacement of inefficient vehicles and equipment.
To further increase communication and engage the public, the District launched a redesigned website which offers easier navigation and access to timely information, and established a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, the District made considerable progress in 2014 to improve our flood control infrastructure and implement new technology to realize future efficiencies,” said Brown. “I am proud of the agency’s accomplishments and look forward to a very productive 2015.”
Click here to view the entire State of the District presentation.