BROWARD COUNTY, FL - Broward County has received 13 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for innovative and effective government programs that enhance quality of life for residents. The award-winning programs are all services of the Broward County Commission.
Broward County is recognized five times for using new technology and innovation to advance energy goals and environmental stewardship, and three times for programs promoting community and economic development. Other award-winning initiatives include two Libraries programs, two Human Services initiatives and a community outreach program promoting civic education and public information.
CATEGORY: County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy, and Sustainability (Five Awards)
- Night Sky Program - The Night Sky Program began as a dialogue with local planners, architects, recreation managers and the public on the health and safety, environmental and economic benefits of reducing excessive light. After night-friendly policies were incorporated into the Broward County Climate Action Plan, Land Use Plan, Comprehensive Plan and Code of Ordinances, the Sky Quality Monitoring Program was launched to monitor the success of policy implementation.
- The Water Quality GeoWeb Mapper - The Water Quality GeoWeb Mapper dashboards (Water Quality and the Bacterial Assessment) are innovative web-based platforms that inform the public about the health of Broward County’s 266-plus miles of waterways. The dashboards assist in decision-making regarding regulatory water quality issues and provide regular updates on algal bloom and navigational canal water quality.
- Manatee Protection Plan and Education Awareness - Broward County’s Manatee Protection Plan Education and Awareness program was redesigned and implemented with the intent of reducing, and possibly eliminating, watercraft-related manatee mortality in County waterways. Information on manatee protection was provided to residents and visitors through radio messaging, informational signs at boat ramps and marine facilities, brochures for distribution by marine facilities and marine law enforcement, and giveaway items to encourage boaters to go “plastic-free.”
- Regional Resiliency Standards for Tidal Flood Protection - Regionally consistent standards for seawalls, banks and berms have been adopted, requiring tidal flood barriers to have a minimum five-foot elevation by 2050, as an amendment to the Land Use Plan to mitigate high tide flooding from sea level rise through the year 2070. Development of the standard followed a science-based approach with technical assistance from the US Army Corps of Engineers and included participation by the marine industry, real estate community, engineers, planners, and other stakeholders in extensive public meetings and surveys.
- Sidewalk Root Barrier System – Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division developed and implemented the Sidewalk Root Barrier System, also known as the “rock burrito” method to preserve mature trees that impact sidewalks, causing an unsafe, uneven walking surface for pedestrians. Rather than removing the tree, fixing the sidewalk and planting a smaller tree in its place, staff developed a method that preserves the tree and stabilizes roots while allowing for the permanent repair of the sidewalk.
CATEGORY: Community and Economic Development (Three Awards)
- Contractor Licensing Enforcement Program – The Building Code Services Division developed this initiative to welcome major and specialty classification construction trades. The program educates residents and encourages the proper processing of newly intended tradespersons. Contractor Licensing and Enforcement performs outreach regularly, along with Central Examining Boards, to regulate and discipline license and unlicensed contractors who have violated the County’s Ordinance providing for the public’s safety.
- TeamUP Broward Mentor-Protégé Pilot Program – This program is part of Broward County’s commitment to maximizing access to contracting opportunities for County Business Enterprises (CBE), Small Business Enterprises (SBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. The program, administered by the Office of Economic and Small Business Development, furthers the development of protégés, mentoring them to move into new areas of work and/or compete in the marketplace outside of the County’s certified small business programs.
- ePermitsOneStop – Broward County and participating municipalities teamed up to launch ePermitsOneStop, a website that allows customers to submit applications and have plans reviewed online for both city and county permits, licenses, and approvals. It is a quicker, more seamless process, eliminating the need for customers to travel to multiple governmental agencies to proceed with permitted projects.
CATEGORY: Libraries (Two Awards)
Library Services on Land, Air and Sea - Broward County Libraries “invites the uninvited” on a local and global scale by providing access to its digital collections for anyone with a smart phone or device – no library card or registration needed! Library patrons can now access eBooks, magazines and streaming/downloadable movies, TV shows and music at locations throughout the county including the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, public parks, Broward County Transit buses, the Seafarer’s House and in schools, health clinics and gyms.
Project Welcome – This new initiative makes the Library an entry point for newcomers and English languages learners to Broward County, informs them of the free, life-enhancing resources available, and supports them on a path to literacy and economic prosperity. It helps them navigate Broward County agencies, services and opportunities. An innovative component of the project is the use of Amazon Echo devices at library service desks to provide assistance in a variety of languages – Broward County Libraries were the first in the country to implement this service.
CATEGORY: Human Services (Two Awards)
What if HIV Awareness Campaign - The Ryan White Part A Program launched a critical conversation with the community with its “What If” HIV awareness multimedia campaign. The campaign serves to educate those living with HIV and the greater Broward community, which is #2 in the nation for new HIV diagnoses. The campaign helps normalize the often-damaging misconceptions about HIV by portraying the humanity and dignity of those living with the disease. Elements included social media, print ads, and digital signage, which were designed with input from the community.
Broward Ryan White Quarterly Journal “Positively Speaking” - The first issue of the Broward Ryan White Part A Quarterly Journal “Positively Speaking” was launched in September 2018, as a vehicle for HIV advocacy, enlightenment and expression. True to its tagline, “News & views across the HIV community,” the journal, disseminated in both print and digital formats, has blossomed into a spirited platform for HIV advocates and allies, both local and national.
CATEGORY: Civic Education and Public Information (One Award)
Branching Out: Community Outreach Program – This program from Broward County’s Environmental Engineering and Permitting Division is a “one-stop shop” for environmental outreach that bridges the communications gap between environmental experts and enhances environmental stewardship in our community by providing technical information in an easy-to-comprehend language. Through increased community partnerships and tailored messaging, the program has increased compliance, decreased environmental complaints, and increased public engagement. The program intends to provide the tools and resources for people to act on protecting the environment.
About the National Association of Counties: The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America's 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings County officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public's understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. Learn more at Naco.org.