Fort Lauderdale City Commission

Daniel A. Varela / Miami Herald

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is imposing a nearly $1.8 million fine on the City of Fort Lauderdale for the more than 200 million gallons of sewage spilled since December last year. 

That announcement came just hours after a Tuesday meeting where Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners were briefed about their options to seek state and federal dollars to fix the city's deteriorating sewage infrastructure. 

Fort Lauderdale sewage
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

It's become part of daily life for Fort Lauderdale residents: pipes are breaking.

Six sewage main breaks in December spilled nearly 127 million gallons of waste into streets, yards and the city's waterways. It's impacting where residents can swim, and if they should boil water before they brush their teeth. 

Fort Lauderdale City Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale city commissioners met at the city's Women's Club downtown on Friday to dissect what initiatives worked last year, and where they should focus their efforts and city money for 2021. The exercise was part of the city's annual goal-setting workshop. 

One of six key areas the commission decided to focus on with urgency: fixing sewage and infrastructure. 

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

It's taken the city of Fort Lauderdale more than a week to stop a sewage leak after a sewer main broke in the Rio Vista neighborhood. 

A bypass was opened after 3 a.m. Wednesday and is now diverting the sewage away from dumping into the Tarpon River. Now, the city is now working to replace the broken section of pipe.


Caitie Switalski / WLRN

There's a packed agenda for Tuesday evening's regular Fort Lauderdale city commission meeting. It starts 6 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale City Hall, 100 N. Andrews Ave.


Key issues that are expected to come before the dais include: 

Fort Lauderdale
Kevin Verbeem via Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners are still working on the city's budget for next year. But it's already clear that the city is reaching further into its pockets than last year.

The budget for 2020 tops $830 million - almost $46 million more than the budget for 2019.

The second - and final - public hearing for the budget is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Fort Lauderdale city commission chambers. The commission will vote on the proposal following the hearing, and then move into a regular meeting. 

Brittany Wallman / Sun Sentinel

The pay for Fort Lauderdale’s political leaders will more than double after the next election, and future politicians could receive a city pension during retirement, after the City Commission unanimously approved the enhancements Tuesday night.

Brittany Wallman / Sun Sentinel

The city of Fort Lauderdale is preparing to raise the pay for its elected officials.

The Sun Sentinel reports that a proposal up for a vote tonight will more than double the salaries of political leaders if approved.

The current salary for the mayor is $35,000. Commissioners make $30,000.

City of Fort Lauderdale
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The economy in Fort Lauderdale doesn't sleep. And now the city has a team in place to oversee, and even improve on that reality: The "NITE" Team. 

The woman leading the NITE Team is Fort Lauderdale's Nighttime Economy Manager Sarah Hannah-Spurlock. 

Fort Lauderdale Beefs Up Legal Team To Fight Gun Show

Jan 23, 2019
women standing with signs to end gun shows
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale renewed its commitment to keep a gun show out of the city-owned War Memorial Auditorium, voting Tuesday night to beef up payments to an outside legal team fighting a lawsuit on the matter.

Florida Gun Shows Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against the city in October, a month before its last show in the auditorium.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

This story has been updated with additional context at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 2019.

What started as an idea to build more affordable housing in Downtown Fort Lauderdale has become a growing fight between residents, a developer and city officials. 



Holiday park
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale residents will get the chance to vote on two bond questions for city parks and police, totaling $300 million.

City commissioners voted during a regular meeting Tuesday night to place both general obligation bonds on a ballot for a special election scheduled for March 12, 2019. The first question will ask for $200 million to go toward park improvements. The second asks for $100 million to build a new police station in the city. 

Riverparc Square development
Courtesy of The City of Fort Lauderdale, rendering by architecture firm: Dorsky + Yue International / WLRN

This story has been updated at 11:58 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2018. 

Downtown Fort Lauderdale will soon have a massive, three tower development on its horizon. 

After some commissioners unsuccessfully tried to pull the development project up for review during Tuesday's city commisison meeting, the complex, called Riverparc Square or Southside Centre, will be going up where SW 5th St. meets Andrews Ave.

Fort Lauderdale City Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale residents will have a chance to ask one of their city commissioners anything about the city - and they don't even have to make it to a city commission meeting. 

District 2 Commissioner Steve Glassman is hosting a telephone town hall Thursday for people to call in and talk. Callers don't have to live in District 2.

medical marijuana
Flick Creative Commons via Mark / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale officials decided this week to uphold a city ordinance that limits the number of medical marijuana dispensaries allowed to open in the city - despite a state law that says it does not have that power.

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana in 2016. Currently, the four dispensaries that are trying to set up shop in Ft. Lauderdale have applied to open in the same part of the city, the Northeast political district.