What’s ahead for the Village in 2012

Mayor Cindy Lerner

Village Mayor Cindy Lerner plans to revisit and update strategic plans from previous years for Pinecrest in 2012. Her top priority is to ensure that goals and ideas are on target for the New Year.

In February and March, Mayor Lerner and the Village Council will take a look at the South Dixie Highway commercial corridor and create a vision of what businesses and residents want in the coming decade.

“We’re looking at what we might want to do to increase more space for retail and offices,” said Lerner.

But there is one very pressing issue for the Mayor when it comes to the U.S.1 corridor. Pinecrest has been involved in a three-year battle with Florida Power and Light over the utility company’s plan to install 100-foot tall transmission lines from 136th Street north all the way to I-95. Pinecrest was notified about the new transmission line plans in 2009 and has been fighting ever since to keep the towers and lines from being erected.

“Our council has taken the lead to prevent this,” said Lerner. “South Miami and Coral Gables joined forces with us in this battle.”

Preventing the sky-high towers and electric lines from being implemented is a major battle for the Mayor and she is adamant that they will never be built.

Pinecrest has always made it a priority to be a green community and that is why Lerner and the Council developed the Pinecrest People Mover. These buses ease traffic congestion during the rush hours, especially at middle and high schools hours, and will reduce the carbon footprint of the Village. Children will be able to get around on the people mover and visit places like the community center, the library and our various parks after school. Parents and the students especially seem to be excited about the new transportation option.

“Hopefully the excitement translates into ridership,” said Lerner, who noted that surveys were mailed to residents and that a traffic consultant was hired to ensure that the People Mover met residents’ needs. The various PTAs and school administrations gave input to the program to ensure safety.

However the primary thrust is to establish a more green community and encourage residents to reduce their individual carbon footprint. More “going green” plans are in affect for the New Year. Other plans include enhancing the commercial corridor and stabilizing the economy.

“It would be nice to be able to move forward,” said Lerner.

The Mayor also wants to bring fresh water lines to every home in Pinecrest and a master plan has been developed to fund the program that will allow residents with well water the option of hooking up to the county water lines. However, finding the revenue to fund the plan has been difficult for Lerner. When the economy was good, the water line issue didn’t seem to be a top priority, and now they are scrambling complete the unfinished infrastructure.

“We’ve looked under ever nook and cranny,” said Lerner.

Lerner said she hoped to get more Village residents involved in their government in the coming months. She noted that the community has many outlets for residents to get involved in and make a difference.

Kara Bisceglia is a native Miamian and a senior at the University of Central Florida, where she is majoring in Radio and Television/Broadcast Journalism.

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