Environment, high school among town’s priorities

A “Go Green” initiative always has been important to the Town of Cutler Bay along with promoting environmental responsibility to the community.

Town Mayor Ed MacDougall is most excited for the new green project, known as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). A resolution already has been signed and five cities have worked in cooperation to get the project underway. The project allows property owners to borrow money to buy solar panels, wind generators and insulation for their homes.

MacDougall is looking forward to working on one of the largest environmental improvement projects in the county. Other local municipalities that have joined the cause are Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami and Coral Gables.

This green initiative not only has caught the attention of local cities, but the state as well. This should create one of the largest energy corridors (along US1) in South Florida and MacDougall cannot wait to organize prospective details on bahlef of the town.

Alongside Cutler Bay’s commitments for going green, a master plan has been initiated for the town’s seven local parks.

Besides environmental initiatives and facility improvements, Cutler Bay soon plans on having its own high school. Plans are underway to complete the steps necessary in order to convert one of the town’s middle schools into a high school.

MacDougall and his team are working with the Miami-Dade School District to undertake the tasks needed to make this happen for the school year beginning in August.

MacDougall said the budget for this project would be around $3 million and the town is partnering financially with Miami- Dade Schools to proceed with this project. “This year I’m looking forward to being able to complete the high school opening,” MacDougall said. MacDougall has been a Cutler Bay resident for about 50 years and believes the town is large enough to have its own high school. Creating this high school would encourage students to stay within their own community and not have to commute elsewhere, MacDougall said. New interactive technologies and science labs would be added to the facility.

Plans would be in effect to condense Centennial Middle School and Cutler Ridge Middle School, converting Centennial into a high school. “It would be two different locations, but they complement each other,” MacDougall said.

Kara Bisceglia, 21, a senior at the University of Central Florida, is studying Radio Television with a track in Broadcast Journalism.

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