West End MACs to continue incorporation studies in 2016

Two West Kendall incorporation studies plan to continue monthly meetings throughout 2016 before reaching specific recommendations for potential new municipalities in Miami-Dade Commissioner Juan Zapata’s “West End” of Kendall.

Both MAC territories lie generally west of SW 137th Avenue along District 11 boundaries, divided into northern and southern areas by SW 88th Street (Kendall Drive).

The recently renamed “West End South” Municipal Advisory Committee concluded a Dec. 1 session reviewing park facilities that a new city would inherit from Miami- Dade County.

The committee is scheduled to meet again on Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m., at the West End (foirmerly West Kendall) Regional Library in The Hammocks.

Scheduled to meet Dec. 2, the “West End North” MAC lacked a quorum of seven members and postponed its next session to Jan. 20.

Since its first meetings in 2014, the North MAC has been studying potential revenues to devise a potential city structure for an estimated 286,000, including Winston Park, Lago Mar and Lakes of the Meadow.

A specific “pro forma” recommendation for a West End North city is still “far from being finalized,” according to Jorge Fernandez of the Miami-Dade Management and Budget staff.

The South MAC study group is studying an area estimated at 194,000 that includes Country Walk, The Hammocks and Calusa as well as Miami Executive Airport.

An overview of West Kendall parks that would become the responsibility of a city in the South MAC territory was presented at its Dec. 1 session by Nick Roberts, superintendent for Community Parks of Miami-Dade Parks Department.

Roberts pointed out that Kendall’s two district parks would remain under county direction “since district parks are made with special purposes for a wide range of the county population.” Tropical Park, for example, has steadily expanded its Equestrian Center as a focal point for a year-around program of horse and cattle shows, as well as special events, he pointed out.

The West Kendall District Park planned south of The Hammocks off SW 157th Avenue has yet to be developed although funding is planned in the Better Building Communities bond issue.

Eight community parks in the South MAC area include Calusa Club Estates, Kings Meadow, Sugarwood, Water Oaks, Hammocks Community, Sandpiper, Oak Creek and Wild Lime. Only Hammocks Community and Wild Lime Park are regularly staffed.

Operating budget for the nine parks for fiscal 2014-15 was $630,400 against revenues of $163,000, largely from $120,300 fee collections at Hammocks Community Park, Roberts adding “Parks are not in the business to make money.” Currently, Miami-Dade Parks operates 14 community parks at a $740,000 annual cost in the North MAC territory, including Bird Basin, Eden Lakes, International Gardens, Kendale Lakes, Kendall Green, Lago Mar, Olympic, Sun Lakes, Tamiami Lakes, Tree Island, West Kendale Lakes and Westwind Lakes.

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