In March of 2019, the voters of Pinecrest will vote on whether or not to complete the County’s potable water and fire hydrant system. Currently about 742 residential properties out of about 6,000, have no access to the County water system and they do not have fire hydrants. It is proposed that the completion of this system be funded via an ad valorem bond, costing an additional 0.23 mils (or 23 cents, per $1,000 of property value, or about $150 per year for the average home in Pinecrest), payable over 20 years.
Voting will be through a mail ballot, going to each of the registered voters in Pinecrest, very similar to the vote by mail system used in other elections. There will not be voting at your traditional polling place. Ballots will be mailed between 10 and 20 days prior to their due date. Ballots may be returned via the U.S. Mail or in person at the Miami-Dade Elections Department. All ballots must be received no later than 7:00 p.m. on March 26.
Completion of the County’s potable water and fire hydrant system has been an issue for Pinecrest before and since our incorporation in 1996. At that time, the Village had approximately 1,500 properties of 6,000 without county water. It has been one of our top priorities over the years, and we have made significant progress on completing this system. In the mid-2000s, Miami-Dade County held a countywide bond referendum, voted on by the citizens of the entire county, that supplied Pinecrest with $4.5 million to work on the water system. The Village subsequently was awarded a grant of $1.5 million, from the State of Florida, for the same purpose. Over time as redevelopment has occurred, individual developers have added to the system. Today, there are about 742 homes still without access to this infrastructure.
The County’s policy is that the customer pays for the water. For most, that means that when the properties were initially developed, the developer bore the cost and passed it to the initial buyer. Over the past 22 years the idea of going to referendum has been discussed but not acted upon. Our Village Charter allows a referendum. Today we have never been closer to completing this project. The number of homes and the total cost are such that we can hold this referendum.
The Village will facilitate this referendum. By law it cannot advocate for one result over another. We will undertake a substantial get out the vote campaign, letting voters know of the special election. We will assure that every voter has an objective set of facts related to the issue and access to a complete history of the matter, so that voters can make the best possible decision for themselves and the community. We will produce answers to frequently asked questions and we will hold multiple workshops leading up to the mailing of the ballots. Please take the time to learn as much as possible about the issue – visit <www.pinecrestwatervote.com>. In over two decades we have never been closer to bringing this issue to a conclusion.
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