MAC1 begins budget study for city in northwest Kendall

After two years that included a six-month hiatus in 2014, West Kendall’s Municipal Advisory Committee for Section 1 (MAC1) will begin developing a budget for a possible municipality in a northwest portion of District 11.

With county statistics in hand and guideline presentations nearly completed, MAC1 members on Apr. 22 named business executive Wilson Cristancho to compile data to structure a potential city of an estimated 129,000 people north of Kendall Drive and south of SW Eighth Street, roughly located between Florida’s Turnpike and Krome (SW 177th) Avenue, except for a portion of District 10 east of SW 147th Avenue.

The MAC1 study currently is about six months ahead of its southern counterpart MAC3 which began a study south of Kendall Drive to SW 152nd Street, west of SW 137th Avenue, earlier this year.

Since January, the two MAC committees have met in monthly sessions as proposed in resolutions by District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata to bring the West Kendall areas out of a “donor status” with independent municipal governments.

Originally, Zapata had focused on creating a single West Kendall city when he called for an annexation and incorporation task force on May 1, 2013 but subsequently split the area into two smaller MAC studies instead of creating a municipality of more than 200,000, west of the turnpike.

At its most recent session, MAC 1 members heard Jorge Fernandez of the Miami- Dade Management and Budget Department review the 2014-15 taxable property roll for the area that would produce $9.7 million to fund county services.

After deducting proposed policing costs (estimated at $19.9 million without administration employees), the study area carries a tax value of $43.1 million, revenue a new city might collect for municipal services.

Among 35 existing cities in Miami-Dade now collecting revenues, the study area ranks with Hialeah Gardens ($43.1 million) and above eight other municipalities that produce $30.2 to $42.1 million revenues, based on 2014 tax rolls.

Fernandez cautioned the MAC about drawing conclusions for projected funding, noting that although an estimate by Miami- Dade Police Department reached a similar cost projection in the $19 million range, it included two types of staffing while Budget and Management’s estimate was based solely on operational costs.

A Preliminary Assessment Roll Value, dated Jan. 26, 2015, from the MDC Property Appraiser, summarized the overall tax-producing values of the study area at $7.3 billion that would produce $5.5 billion for UMSA (Unincorporated Miami-Dade Service Area).

Fernandez advised the committee “not to treat figures as a base for developing an actual city budget” because each city is different in structuring costs based on services it would continue with UMSA in the future, such as library and fire-rescue operations.

“Remember that UMSA will have $9 million less funding if this new city is created,” he added. “That in itself can affect the cost of provided services to a new city in the future.

In addition to Cristancho, other members attending included Raul Pino, Libby Perez, Erika Santamaria, Enrique Piniero, and Jose Rodriguez.

The next meeting to begin pro forma budgeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 19, at Zelda Glazer Middle School, 15015 SW 24 Street. For details, visit online at www.miamidade.gov/incorporationandannexation/west-kendall-section-1.asp.


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