Council gets update on state funding, FDOT plans

Community Wednesday, June 4, 2014


State Representative Manny Diaz said Miami Lakes would receive a check in the amount of $1.3 million for stormwater drainage improvements and stabilizing the town’s canal by July, money he and fellow State Representative Jose Oliva and Senator Rene Garcia helped secure during the Florida Legislature Session in Tallahassee.

At the May 13 regular Town Council meeting, Diaz told councilmembers that after Governor Rick Scott signs the new budget, he will present Miami Lakes with the check hopefully in July.

He said the $300,000 for stormwater drainage upgrades was the second phase of funding from last year for Miami Lakes to complete part two of its projects, and the $1 million is earmarked for the canal bank stabilization project near Royal Oaks to help the town resolve a long-standing problem.

In addition, Diaz announced the construction of a sound wall to protect residents in the westside neighborhoods from the traffic noise on I-75 should start sometime this year, and another sound wall should go up adjacent to the Madden’s Hammock property on N.W. 154 Street and 87 Avenue next year.

Diaz said the Florida Department of Transportation may conduct a study to determine if a sound wall is needed on the eastern portion of the town near the Palmetto Expressway.

In other town business:

• Lawmakers gave their initial approval for an ordinance, which requires Miami Lakes to notify homeowners and condominium associations of proposed building and zoning projects within one mile of their boundaries.  Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez recommended the measure at the April 8 regular Town Council meeting.

• Lawmakers approved a proposed site plan on a conditional use for a nonpublic child care facility called Little College Corporation submitted by Marisol Torres and JMC Properties at Royal Oaks Corporation.

Town staff recommended approval of the site plan at 15225 N.W. 77 Avenue, which includes a maximum enrollment of 194 children, with the facility operating from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The plan also includes the applicants providing a minimum of 7,210 square feet of outdoor recreation space, which must be fenced.

• Councilmembers approved a resolution codesignating Miami Lakeway North between N.W. 67 Avenue and Miami Lakeway Drive as Father James P. Murphy Way.

The location is near Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church and School, where Murphy served a pastor from 1996 to 2011, and contributed to the Miami Lakes community for many years. He died earlier this year from cancer.

• Lawmakers approved a resolution to place a non-binding straw ballot measure for the November election to determine if residents want Miami Lakes to continue to pursue obtaining its own zip code.

• Lawmakers approved Councilmember Tony Lama’s recommendation that council members would be banned from being included in video services to be posted on the town’s website that highlight Miami Lakes, the committees, volunteers, residents and future plans.

Lama made the suggestion to prevent political abuse after lawmakers in April approved to use Dave Graveline, president of the Miami Lakes Broadcast Center, for the services for only three months.

Lama voted against Mayor Wayne Slaton’s motion because Graveline shot videos of his campaign in 2012 and 2013 and some residents may view it as a political favor to award the contract to someone who contributed to his campaign.

• Lawmakers approved a working contract in the amount of $149,101 with JVA Engineering Contractors for drainage improvements for N.W. 83 Place. The new drainage system will address flooding after heavy rainfall events due to limited existing drainage. The existing roadway pavement between N.W. 158 Terrace and N.W. 162 Street will also be milled and resurfaced.

• Council members approved a working contract in the amount of $141,406 to Williams Paving Company to complete the second phase of the greenway improvements at N.W. 170 Street between N.W. 82 Avenue and N.W. 77 Court.

• Councilmembers approved Council member Ceaser Mestre’s proposal to increase the height of walls to nine feet that are adjacent to a street right-of-way by amending the town’s land development code through an ordinance.

According to Mestre, many residents brought it to his attention that their desire for the maximum height of walls to be increased in efforts to enhance public safety.

The town’s existing code allows walls to be no more than six feet.

• Lawmakers approved Vice Mayor Manny Cid’s recommendation of reestablishing the corporate visitation program, in which the town’s Economic Development Officer can coordinate one visit a month so town officials can hear first hand from the business community.

• The Council authorized the town manager to apply to The Miami Foundation’s Our Miami Public Space Challenge for grant funds for an event designed to spur economic development for local businesses and encourage wellness in Town: CycloMiamiLakes.

 The Miami Foundation created the Our Miami Public Space Challenge to discover the best ideas for improving, creating, and activating local public spaces. The Town of Miami Lakes’ submission, CycloMiamiLakes, has been selected as a Finalist.

The project would adopt the practice of “cyclovia,” a Spanish term for "cycleway," through the closing of certain streets to automobiles for cyclists and pedestrians, modeled after Bogotá, Colombia’s closures of main streets to cars as a response to congestion and pollution. Runners, skaters, and bicyclists take back the streets, with stages set up in city parks, fitness instructors, yoga teachers and musicians leading people through various performances, all free to the public. Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the route. The event will be proposed to occur twice during the inaugural year.

CycloMiamiLakes will request funding from The Miami Foundation not to exceed $20,000. Matching funds are not required for the program.