Mayor Cid upbeat on future at ‘State of the Town’ address

Thursday, November 2, 2017 0 Comments

After Hurricane Irma left South Florida in its path of destruction, Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid was the face of the town’s clean-up and recovery efforts, conceivably among the fastest cities in Miami-Dade to remove uprooted large trees and debris from residential areas, roadways and commercial properties. 

In addition, the town got assurance that FEMA will reimburse Miami Lakes most of the money it spent to rid the massive scattered fragments.  

“I’ve known Manny Cid before he was mayor, and I have known him to be caring, committed, a good man and a good father,” said Tim Reynolds, an AP sportswriter, who was the master of ceremonies for the 2017 State of the Town Address. “But he showed us all about leadership during Hurricane Irma.”

The unpretentious Cid refused to take the credit, alluding to the efforts of town staff, elected officials and many volunteers who made the rapid clean-up and recovery process possible.
“Hurricane Irma hit us hard but we hit it back,” Cid said before a packed crowd at Miami Lakes Town Hall. “We had no fatalities and no major injuries in Miami Lakes.”  

Cid’s leadership is a promising sign of the direction Miami Lakes is headed, as he outlined a list of goals and objectives for the town for the year, including securing road impact fees for additional revenues, taking over the special taxing districts, a new senior village, the Main Street East project, and a portable transportation system to alleviate traffic congestion.

“The state of the town is strong and it can and will get stronger,” Cid  said. “How do we move forward as a community?”

Road impact fees from developers and taking over of the special taxing districts from the county were game changers for Miami Lakes, Cid said. 

He said road impact fees, which generated millions of dollars a year from developments in Miami Lakes, were discovered in other city’s coffers.

“But we took on the county and won,” he said. “It will bring in millions of dollars to the community, and now that money will be spent in Miami Lakes.”

Since Miami Lakes took over the special taxing districts for security guard gates and the lakes, Cid said the town plans on maintaining them to residents’ standards with less costs to taxpayers.
“Better services while lowering the costs for the special taxing districts,” Cid said. “The road impact fees and special taxing districts are game changers for Miami Lakes.”

Nurturing senior centers is the fulcrum of the Miami Lakes community, as Cid boasted about the town becoming the first to build a new senior village for residents only, which includes an ALF, a skilled nursing center and recreation center.

The Graham Companies’ project is a partnership with Miami Jewish Health System.

“Cities are judged on how we take care of our most vulnerable people, senior citizens,” he said. “The senior village is a major feat for our community.”

Cid acknowledged that finishing the master plan for Miami Lakes Optimist Park in about two years poses a challenge for financial reasons.

He said some residents might support borrowing the money, while others would like to stick with the pay-as-you-go plan, which takes longer to complete.

The town budgeted about $1.4 million for the park but needs an additional $1 million to speed up the time frame. 

The pay-as-you-go plan and slow improvements have frustrated residents, who instead are using the parks and recreation facilities in Weston, Doral and Pembroke Pines.

At the park, which was built in the early 1970s, the baseball fields, batting cages, and other amenities are decrepit, and residents want the gymnasium the town promised more than a decade ago. 

The park improvements would also include an airnasium, new tennis and basketball courts, a concession and bathroom facility, field and fencing reconfiguration, a walking trail path, and additional parking spaces.    

Cid said albeit he supports the debt, the rest of council members and residents might not concur.
“I think we can get it done next year and I’m in favor of that,” he said. “Some of my friends disagree with me, but regardless the project will get done and that’s the promise we made to Miami Lakers.”

Cid said Main Street East is the town’s next biggest project.

After the project is completed, he said it will be more accessible to pedestrians and residents can spend time and their money there to boost the town’s economy.

“We will be showcasing the area in the next couple of months,” he said.

For the ongoing traffic gridlock throughout Miami Lakes, Cid said a plan is in place where the town pays an extra penny to the county that generates thousands of dollars for the town to purchase ADA golf carts to transport residents around town.

“The golf carts will be picking us up in front of our homes, alleviating traffic by taking cars off the roads,” he said.

Cid’s speech also mentioned erecting a bridge on N.W. 59 Avenue to give motorists a better access to the area, which includes Costco, Miami Lakes Auto Mall, restaurants and shops.
Cid also praised the new dog park called K-9 Cove which was officially opened last week. “Dogs don’t vote but we took care of our furry friends,” Cid said.

Time was taken to honor U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart for working tirelessly to help Miami Lakes secure its own zip code and playing a major role after Hurricane Irma.

Cid presented Diaz-Balart with the Key to the Town and praised him for stepping in after the U.S. Post Master General laughed at the town for requesting an independent zip code to reduce the costs of car insurance.

“Congressman Diaz-Balart got involved and said he’ll take care of it,” Cid said. “After an investigation, legislation was filed and passed in the House but because it was a presidential election year, it stalled in the Senate. But with the leadership of Diaz-Balart and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, it’s on its way to the Senate and we are in good hands and on our way to an independent zip code.”

Cid said Diaz-Balart arrived in Miami Lakes immediately after Hurricane Irma and offered his assistance.

He made sure FEMA reimburses Miami Lakes 90 percent of the $2 million it spent for the damage the Category 3 storm caused in the town.

“I have the honor of awarding you the highest honor with the Key to the Town,” Cid said.
Diaz-Balart said he’s privileged to work for Miami Lakes in Washington but the real credit goes to Cid, council members and volunteers who make his job easier.

“The work and job you do is well done for the rest of the state and in the nation,” Diaz-Balart said. “The residents are blessed to have you working for the betterment of the town.”

Miami Lakes resident Nancy Rogers, a member of the town’s Elderly Affairs Committee, was also honored, as she was named Volunteer of the Year, while Gloria Rodriguez was named Miami Lakes’ town Employee of the Year.

“A lot of people deserve this more than me but I really appreciate it,” said Rodriguez.

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