Survey: Miami Lakes is a safe place to live, work and raise kids

Government By David Snelling, Reporter Thursday, April 15, 2021

It’s not a secret that Miami Lakers are passionate about their hometown, and a survey of residents found that many are happy to be living here.

ETC Institute’s survey of 314 randomly chosen residents from all around Miami Lakes was taken to help town government plan for the community’s future needs.

Results released in March found residents’ priorities for improvement were: Value received for tax dollars; traffic congestion; maintenance of town roads, sidewalks and street- lights and care for the town symbol, its tree canopy.

Ninety percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the town as a place to raise children, and that positive perception rose to a combined 93 percent for Miami Lakes as a place to live.

They also praised it as a safe, clean, tree friendly town and a good place to work and retire.
 Police services were identified as a category for improvement because of the level of importance residents placed upon the service, according to the survey.

They also were satisfied or very satisfied (a combined 83 percent) with the overall quality of police protection.

Drainage remains a
top concern, especially after November rains from Tropical Storm Eta flooded much of the west side. High water did not recede for several days.

Installation of new pipes is part of the town’s ongoing infrastructure improvement plans.

Though survey respondents identified drainage
and quality of the lakes
and byways one of their top priorities to spend tax dollars on, 37 percent also said they would not support a stormwater fee increase.

That disconnect baffled Nancy Rogers, who chairs the town’s Public Safety Committee and participated in the survey.

“How do they expect to fix the problem if they don’t want to pay for it?” said Rogers, who lives in the Loch Andrews neighborhood which she says floods during heavy rains.

The town council on March 9 raised the storm- water utility fee for property owners from $4.50 to $10.50.

Residents said they weren’t happy with code enforcement: 25 percent were dissatisfied; 22 percent were unhappy with the quality of development review, permitting and inspection services and the overall quality of planning and zoning drew a 20 per- cent dissatisfaction rating from survey takers.

Asked about how COV- ID-19 has affected their livelhoods, 31 percent said their financial situations worsened, 64 percent said they stayed the same and five percent improved.

Over half of the community have worked from home, and one out of five respondents said they will continue working away from the office.

The town council and staff met for two days
in March at the Roberto Alonso Community Center to review the town’s 2015 – 2025 strategic plan and the survey results.

Officials also discussed what projects can be accomplished in the next five years and possible funding sources.

A challenge, Town Manager Edward Pidermann said, was that prior town councils deferred addressing some infrastructure issues as a way to save tax dollars.

“The problems and needs didn’t go away,” Pidermann said. “They are still with us today.”

Results from those meetings will be shared at a future council meeting, town Public Information Officer Clarisell De Cardenas said.

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