Waterfront Revitalization Plan

In response to growing concerns over the future of our beach the current city commission recently voted to approve initial funding for the preliminary design and feasibility of our Waterfront Revitalization Plan (WRP) which will address the short and long term needs of our treasured beach area from coastal beach erosion to nesting sea turtles. At the heart of the Plan is the re-design and re-construction our city marina. The marina is designed to cater to recreational boaters and their families. There will be plenty of day dockage as well are areas for kayaks and jet skis. As with all aspects of the plan, our goal is to create a unique public recreational boating and beach experience for our residents and visitors. We are navigating through the permitting process, procuring grant funding and we anticipate construction to begin in October, 2012. Completion of construction is expected in June, 2013.

Another key component is the re-positioning of our fishing pier and pier restaurant operation. Until the current commission acted on this matter, the pier restaurant had been by most accounts a total loser. Not only did it not provide an appropriate dining experience for our residents and visitors, the prior operator also controlled the fishing pier revenue at great expense to the city. This commission took action, had the tenant removed and re-established City operation of the fishing pier dramatically increasing revenues to the city. We are now working with Quarterdeck to create the right casual seafood dining experience whose menu, pricing and atmosphere best meshes with our beach area, and provides a service to our residents and visitors as well as a return on investment to our taxpayers and shareholders. The cost to get out of the last bad decision exceeded $1 million. We have to get it right this time.

One of the long term issues that we as a city need to address is beach erosion. Since the construction of the jetty into Port Everglades the natural flow of sand has been altered. As a result, all of the sand intended for our beach is gathered on the north side of the Port in Fort Lauderdale. As a result, Dania Beach suffers from extraordinary beach erosion that will cost our tax payers tens of millions of dollars over our lifetime. I don't think this is fair to our taxpayers and I am pushing for action on this matter. I believe that Dania Beach should be compensated for this loss and either provided with a long term solution or compensated appropriately. I will be working toward this end during my next term.

One of the unique and exciting aspects of our beach is all of the astounding scientific research that is being done there. The Waterfront Revitalization Plan provides Dania Beach with a unique opportunity to feature marine sciences and environmental education to residents and visitors alike and inform them about the world-class scientific research being done right here in Dania Beach by NSU, FAU and the United States Navy. Additionally, South Broward High School is a Marine Magnet School and we are very proud of the work being done by Dr. Ted Davis and his staff at South Broward High School. There are already on-going science experiments being done at Dania Beach by FAU, NSU, South Broward High School and the US Navy.

Our goal should be nothing less than to create a world class public beach experience that can be fun and educational for local families and tourists alike while serving providing a financial return to our taxpaying residents.

I live, work and play in Dania Beach and I plan to spend the rest of my life here. I humbly ask that you allow me to keep my Commitment, Experience, and Judgment working for you on the Dania Beach City Commission and cast your vote to re-elect me on November 6th, 2012.

Thank you,
Mayor Walter Duke