City of Homestead Hosts Groundbreaking of Mayor Roscoe Warren Municipal Park

By Alyna M. Bello

Pictured from left to right: Councilman Jimmie L. Williams, III, Councilman Elvis R. Maldonado, Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman, Hallie Hanner (Sister of Mayor Warren), Neal Warren (Brother of Mayor Warren), Edith Baguidy (Sister of Mayor Warren), Former Homestead Mayor Roscoe Warren, Romanita Ford (Friend of Mayor Warren), Vice-Mayor Judy Waldman, Homestead Police Captain Mallie Graham, and Homestead City Manager Sergio Purriños.

On an overcast and drizzling Friday morning, July 16, 2010, Mayor Steven Bateman, Vice-Mayor Judy Waldman, Councilman Elvis Maldonado, Councilman Jimmie L. Williams, III, City Manager Sergio Purrinos, City Department Heads, and special guest former Homestead Mayor Roscoe Warren participated in the groundbreaking of the future site of the Mayor Roscoe Warren Municipal Park. The park is located at 1400 E. Palm Drive, Homestead, FL 33035.

During the ceremony, Mayor Bateman spoke about bringing many city projects to fruition and applauded Vice-Mayor Waldman for being persistent in bringing quality parks to Homestead. In her remarks, Vice Mayor Judy Waldman stated that it was her goal to build outstanding parks and recreational facilities for Homestead residents and visitors as Chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee. Vice- Mayor Waldman stated, “I know when we complete this project, our residents will have a first-class park in which they can bring their families and spend the day in a safe and pleasurable environment.”

The guest speaker for the event was former Homestead Mayor Roscoe Warren. Throughout the ceremony, Mayor Warren was praised for his dedication and service to build a better future for Homestead. Vice- Mayor Waldman gave a very moving speech during the introduction of Mayor Warren. Vice-Mayor Waldman spoke about her close friendship and mentor who guided her during a very difficult time when she was battling breast cancer. Councilmen Jimmie L. Williams, III and Elvis Maldonado also credited Mayor Warren for being influential in their political careers and as positive role model.

In 2005, a resolution was passed by the City Council that the park be named after former Homestead Mayor Roscoe Warren, who served in public office for 26 years. Mr. Warren was elected to the Homestead City Council in 1981 and during his tenure served as Councilman, Vice-Mayor, and Mayor.He retired in 2007. Mr. Warren received many honors and awards throughout his distinguished public service career. He displayed a genuine commitment and honorable service to the people of Homestead. His endless efforts to develop and maintain a successful future for Homestead are highly visible.

A few years ago the City began its plans to redevelop a former Homestead landfill site as a municipal park. Through a Miami- Dade County Solid Waste grant, this 37- acre parcel of land went through an extensive clean-up to prepare the site as a park. Once the clean-up was approved by Miami-Dade County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM), the former landfill was ready for construction. General Obligation Bond (GOB) funds will finance the park’s initial phase of construction.

The park’s construction will be completed in multiple phases. The initial phase will include the infrastructure, landscaping, walkways, restrooms, soccer fields, and pavilions. The City is also planning to look at acquiring additional grant money and other sources of revenue for further amenities to be completed in subsequent phases. The park is slated to open to the public at the end of the year.

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