CORAL SPRINGS, FL - In the face of adversity, the City of Coral Springs continues to work closely with our residents and businesses to recover from this historic crisis. Our highest priority has been and continues to be, the public’s safety, health, and wellbeing. As state and county leaders discuss plans for all phases to reopen facilities and businesses in Broward County, safety will continue to be our highest priority.
Since the State of Emergency was declared in Florida, the City of Coral Springs has collectively accomplished so much. This demonstrates the tremendous camaraderie within our community. It was our goal to ensure our residents and businesses were and continue to be well-informed and educated about the COVID-19 virus, including symptoms, testing sites, and preventative measures. Through print, digital communications, and our call center, we have done our best to be there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our first responders have done an exceptional job protecting the public, especially our most vulnerable populations who reside in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, group homes, and senior communities. They have done this by staying connected and providing the staff of these facilities with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), webinars with our Medical Director, and guidance on proper sanitation throughout this pandemic. This assistance will continue, as these residents are most vulnerable to the virus.
To assist those facing unprecedented financial impacts, we partnered with Feeding South Florida to provide food to sustain families every week. We worked with the Coral Springs Community Chest to launch “Give Where You Live,” which will assist residents and businesses with temporary financial assistance. Our community outreach staff delivered meals to seniors and the homebound.
Local business is the backbone of our city. Closures of some businesses and an overall reduction in business to most has caused a tremendous financial burden associated with this pandemic. To assist our business community, Coral Springs created a Business Resource Network to connect small businesses to loan and grant opportunities. Our Economic Development Office hosted informative webinars with the Chamber of Commerce, opened the Business Hotline, and promoted #supportlocalCS, for restaurants.
As we direct our efforts towards long-term recovery, our financial team is strategizing to respond to the economic impact on our city’s revenue. Early predictions indicate we will experience revenue shortfalls of approximately $6 million. To compensate, our departments have tightened their belts to reduce operating expenses this fiscal year. We are reprioritizing our capital improvement projects, have frozen all non-critical personnel hiring, and reduced city events. The reduction in events does not mean celebrations are canceled, but instead reimagined either virtually or with social distancing protocols in place.
As state and local leaders look to reopen the economy, the City of Coral Springs is proactively preparing for each phase of resuming operations. We are well-prepared and well-equipped to continue safely serving our community.
I appreciate the extraordinary patience, courage, and bravery of the Coral Springs community during this challenging time in our city’s history. I commend the community for coming together and supporting our local businesses and charities.
It has been incredibly humbling and inspirational to witness the excellent work put forth by the city staff towards rebounding from this crisis. I communicate with our city staff daily and conclude my message with our new motto, which holds true with our community - we are One Team with One Mission!
Frank Babinec is the city manager of City of Coral Springs.