Friday, January 13, 2017

Update on the SFWMD canals – two main meetings that I suggest those interested/impacted by the canal attend

There is so much information regarding the past and ongoing efforts relating to the canals that run through Palmetto Bay.  I am working to provide it in a manner that I can present it most effectively.  A project is set to commence later this month in Pinecrest.  This will impact some, but far from all boat traffic in Palmetto Bay.  I am also give a very short recitation of some past efforts that continue.  There is more to come.  I want to get some information out in order to get at least some of you to the meeting set for Saturday, 1/14 and continue from there. 

First of all - I invite you to attend two main meetings that will have the biggest impact on issues relating to the canals:
1.  This Saturday, January 14, 2017 - 11:00 AM - Legislative VISIONING SESSION WORKSHOP, at the Edward & Arlene Feller Community Room at Ludovici Park, 17641 Old Cutler Road

2.  Village-wide Canal Workshop on Friday, January 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM. at Palmetto Bay Municipal Center, 9705 East Hibiscus Street.
Secondly: ONGOING PROJECT – PINECREST.  The SFWMD has advised us that a bank restoration project will commence in Pinecrest on January17. This restoration is covering C100A – starting in Pinecrest, but because of the nature of the work, a large part of the C100A canal- the part of the canal that crosses over into Palmetto Bay off 136 street (it opens into the lake off 136 street) – extending into Palmetto Bay – will be shut down for all boat traffic.  This shutdown is expected to last several months. 
Mobilizing, staffing, materials will affect time of the project and resulting shut down will occur.
Efforts continue past and present.  We remain committed to work with the SFWMD to continue the restoration South, to ultimately include all of Palmetto Bay.  This is a long process.  I have been committed from my first terms in office.  I sponsored resolution 2008-119 requesting the State to fund and undertake the restoration.  It’s a funding issue with the State. 
We have asked the State Of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to undertake boating safety enforcement within the Canals located within Palmetto Bay (resolution 2009-19).
Canal bank restoration is paid for through the taxes paid to the SWFMD – visible on your tax bill (everyone pays into this taxing district).  I joined in with the mayors of Cutler Bay and Pinecrest last year asking that the SFWMD mileage rate not be reduced - specifically in order to allow for funding of canal bank restoration. 
We are having a vision session this Saturday on our legislative agenda – this Saturday, January 14, 2017 - 11:00 AM at the Edward & Arlene Feller Community Room at Ludovici Park, 17641 Old Cutler Road - I urge those interested/impacted to attend this meeting and express a desire (which I will sponsor - or any member of the council can sponsor) for Palmetto Bay to ask the Florida Legislature to fund canal bank restoration throughout Palmetto Bay, just as we would stormwater or FRDAP requests – only our State Legislators can make this appropriation and your Mayor & village council is committed to working with them to request this funding.  
That is being done – I remain working with the SFWMD to identify and obtain the funding to actually complete the much-needed canal bank restoration. This requires the legislative requests, follow up in Tallahassee, personally and through our lobbying team and locally through the SFWD.
Canal ownership.  It is important to note that Palmetto Bay has no jurisdiction or ownership of the canals or the canal banks.  The property connects directly to the private property of the individual homeowners.  The canals and banks are controlled by the SFWMD and enforcement is under the Florida Fish and Wildlife. 
Again, I strongly encourage those interested in the Canal restoration issue to attend both meetings listed above.  I continue to gather information and will post updates to my blog.
Very truly yours,
Eugene Flinn, Mayor
Palmetto Bay

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