North MAC finalizes planning for new city

With more than two years of study completed, formation of a new West Kendall city is approaching the time for public reaction to the incorporation effort of one of two areas Commissioner Juan C. Zapata terms Miami-Dade’s “West End.”

The ‘West End North MAC’ has put finishing touches on a “Revenues and Expenditures Analysis” that projects a budget for a municipality with an estimated population of 129,000 located from north of Kendall Drive to SW Eighth Street and generally west of SW 137yj Avenue.

The seven citizen volunteers on the MAC have spent the better part of two years since formation in 2014 to arriving at a working figure of a municipality’s operational cost of $37.9 million, based on projected revenues of $38.9 million. Such projections “suggest” a budget surplus of $1.9 million at the end of the proposed municipality’s first fiscal year.

The intensive review of six major areas comprising an operational city includes a police force costing an estimated $18.7 million and five other key services making up a balance of $19.2 million. Miami-Dade County Police would continue to perform services under a three-year contract until an independently operated force is established.

The proposed millage rate for the city is 1.9283, the same as the current rate for unincorporated Miami-Dade County which means residents would not see their property taxes change if the incorporation were to take place.

The 26-page city document was scrutinized by PMG Associates, consultants for county MACs, and approved with only minor changes, prior to a North MAC session in June when its members began reviewing a schedule necessary for an initial public hearing on the proposal.

Once a budget is finalized, a companion “conceptual agreement” must be worded, delineating how the new city budget will fit into UMSA (Unincorporated Municipal Service Area) with a proposed division of tax revenues so that key county services (i.e., libraries, water and sewer, etc.) will continue to be provided to the municipality, once incorporated.

Two public hearings are held before the North MAC approves documentation, allowing a sufficient time gap between the first and second hearings for citizen input.

A second hearing follows before the new city budget is finalized for submission to the county for a final review, prior to any action by county commissioners authorizing balloting by voters within the proposed municipality’s boundaries to approve or oppose incorporation.

Members of the North MAC are Raul Pino, chair; Libby Perez, vice chair; Jose Luis Rodriguez; Wilson Cristancho; Erika Gonzalez-Santamaria, Secretary; Monica Colucci, and Enrique Piniero.

Meanwhile, the West End South MAC had embarked on the same task for a population of 128,874 between SW 88th Street and SW 152nd Street, west of 137th Avenue with its first five-hour session in June to begin laying a foundation for a West End South city.


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