FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Voters in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood approved bonds for a raft of public projects, including new police stations for both cities.
While the bonds easily passed, some residents voiced concerns at public hearings about the additional spending that would increase their property taxes.
Only 9 percent of the electorate took part in Tuesday's special election.
Supporters of the Fort Lauderdale bond argue that the city's police station was built in 1958 for a far smaller department. Currently, the force stands at around 700 -- all squeezed into a building made for 100. In addition to the lack of space, the building has a number of problems, including aging pipes, a leaking roof and unreliable elevators.
The new headquarters will cost $100 million, a price that made Mayor Dean Trantalis uncomfortable. He decided the voters should decide.
Fort Lauderdale's other bond question covered improvements for more than 80 parks. The city will use the $200 million to repair seawalls, add bathrooms and upgrade playgrounds.
Built in 1975, Hollywood's police station has many of the same issues as Fort Lauderdale. Police officials said the building isn't ready for a major hurricane, and crime scene evidence has been damaged by the leaking roof. Building a new station would solve those problems and add a parking garage for officers.
Also Tuesday, voters re-elected Wayne Messam as mayor of Miramar. In Coral Springs, former Mayor Scott Brook will replace Mayor Skip Campbell, who died in October.
The towns of Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Park and Miramar also elected new commissioners. They are:
- Coconut Creek District A: Rebecca Tooley
- Deerfield Beach District 1: Michael Hudak
- Deerfield Beach District 2: Ben Preston
- Pembroke Park District 4: Reynold Dieuveille
- Miramar Seat 4: Alexandra Davis