Palm Beach County
For more information on this project, contact John O'Malley, Environmental Health Director, Selva Selvendran, Kai Jones, or Roy (Mike) McGinnis, PACE-EH Coordinators, at the Palm Beach County Health Department
PALM BEACH COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
March 2007 PACE EH Report
To: Daniel Parker, MSP
Assistant Division Director, Division of Environmental Health
From: Kai Jones, PACE EH Coordinator
Subject: March PACE EH Project Update
The Westgate Community was selected as a PACE EH Project after talking to our county Office of Community Revitalization Staff (OCR). Although they were somewhat organized, they still had several environmental health issues along with other problems (crime/drugs, homeless, infrastructure and property upkeep).
2. Work Plan and Process Update
|Task 1: Determine Community Capacity
||The community has a population of about 5,000 residents. The staff at the Palm Beach County Health Department agreed that after years of problems in this community that this would be a good PACE project to take on.
|Task 2: Define and Characterize the Community
A community meeting was held at the Westgate Recreation Center with about 25 residents attending on Jan. 3rd. The next meeting was held on Feb. 6th at the Westgate Elementary School. Rather than choose a leader, the community decided to choose four directors. A community police officer and code enforcement officer have been specially assigned to this community.
|Completed ? Monthly meetings are scheduled now.
||Jan./ Feb. 2007|
3. Outstanding Issues/Concerns
The PACE EH Methodology was introduced at the January meeting and the community welcomed our help. Their main environmental health concern at that moment was that the north part of the community which was still on septic tanks having many problems after heavy rains. After the heavy rains of December 2006, they had many flooded areas and septic tank overflows. This was due to the lack of storm drains. Three of the directors used their ingenuity to search the dry retention ponds for the drains and found them with a metal detector covered with soil. It is hoped that these will be cleaned and may be the answer to the flooding issue.
Another concern is the homeless people that are coming to this community and the Westgate Tabernacle Church taking them in with unsanitary and unsafe conditions. This matter is being addressed by the code enforcement section of the county.
It was noted at the meetings that there was a big problem with graffiti showing up in many places. This was addressed by purchasing a graffiti trailer and related equipment. The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County has donated recycled paint. This work is all voluntary unless they are fortunate to catch the people that committed the act. The residents also voiced their complaints about people loitering in many vacant lots in the community. The community policing officers suggested getting No Trespassing signs posted on these lots and then they can remove these people when seen there.
Past Palm Beach County Updates