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Payments will go out in December to employees of the City of Wilton Manors who were vaccinated for COVID-19.

Through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, the city is offering a $500 incentive for employees who are fully vaccinated. Employees have until the end of the year to claim the incentive.

“I can report to you that the incentive has actually resulted in some of our employees taking the initiative to go out and get vaccinated,” said City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson.

Based on voluntary information provided, 55% of the Wilton Manors Police Department is fully vaccinated, said Human Resources Director Dio Sanchez. The number is slightly lower but above 50% for general employees, Sanchez said.

Other notes from the Nov. 23 regular city commission meeting:

Police Chief Gary Blocker announced Code Compliance Officer Kim Holinko and Officer Daniel Plunske are the department’s top employees of the third quarter. Blocker also reported an attempted robbery that was thwarted in the 900 block of NE 29th Drive in the early morning hours of Nov. 23. Anyone with information about this incident, Blocker said, is encouraged to call Det. Fernando Arias at 954-533-2193.

City Clerk Faith Lombardo presented Island City University graduation certificates. In its fifth year, Island City University, Lombardo said, gives residents access to the inner workings of various city departments and includes hands-on activities such as “how to scope a drain pipe.” Seventeen people completed the program.

Commissioners executed an agreement with the South Florida Audubon Society for the management and maintenance of M.E. DePalma Park. Mayor Scott Newton gave the Audubon Society kudos for what he called “tremendous work” at the public garden on the corner of NE 7th Avenue and NE 20th Drive. “It’s nice to go in there now,” Newton said.

Commissioners passed a new ordinance that provides tax exemptions to residents over the age of 65. The first exemption — not to exceed $50,000 — is for seniors with an annual income of less than $31,100. There are 114 residences that may qualify at a cost of $15,563 to the city.  The second exemption is for seniors who have lived in their homes for over 25 years. To be eligible for the long-term exemption, a homeowner’s property must be under $250,000 in just value as determined by the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office. There are 17 residences that may qualify for the exemption at a cost of $4,256.17 to the city. Finance Director Penny Zuercher said the law will be implemented into the 2022-23 fiscal budget.

Community Affairs Advisory Board Chair Michael Sansevero asked the commission to review the resident parking program and bring the issue to a vote and appoint a staff member to serve as a public art coordinator. Sansevero also asked the commission to revisit a term limits referendum for voters to decide. “I believe that’s what the residents would like to see,” he said.

Former Commissioner Julie Carson thanked Mayor Newton and Vice Mayor Paul Rolli for attending the Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Pride Center and visiting with residents at Independence Hall assisted living facility. Carson also thanked Commissioner Gary Resnick for attending the commission meeting in person.

The meeting was one of the shortest regular commission meetings in recent years, lasting 40 minutes.

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