Sunday, January 29, 2017

Update - SFWMD - rough waters signal the start of canal work in Pinecrest. Palmetto Bay continues to work with SFWMD.

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has begun its work in Pinecrest.  All is not rosy as reported in the Sunday, 1/29/2017, edition of the Miami Herald (Page 4A): 
Lush landscaping vs. flood control: Village tries to defend its canal turf

Please note one of the landscaping solutions proposed by the SFWMD as stated by John Hixenbaugh, Chief of the district's Right of Way Section, this -
After the Herald inquired, the district contacted the village Friday and assured staff they intend to work with homeowners individually to find a solution. In an interview, the team said they always planned to apply a “common sense” approach, not a wholesale razing.

“There are some folks who planted some really nice landscapes,” said Steve Fairtrace, the district’s field project manager.

Homeowners can relocate trees, although non-native, exotic trees will be removed, they said. Homeowners may be able to work out a deal to save native trees, if they agree to cover the cost of maintenance. Many shrubs will be saved. Sod will be replanted.

“When we work with homeowners to save a tree, then there is an obligation for them to maintain it,” said John Hixenbaugh, who oversees right-of-ways for the district. “So yes, there will be an option for that, for trees that remain.”

The SFWMD is of limited funds - the actions they take are to protect their assets in order to do the task at hand.  I remain committed to 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 SFWMD.

As part of the ongoing efforts, the hard work with the SFWMD to eventually bring complete canal bank restoration to Palmetto Bay, the Palmetto Bay Village Council unanimously supported two items I requested for our 2017 Legislative Agenda:
            F.         Requesting funding for South Florida Water Management District specifically for canal bank restoration to address the critical erosion needs in the Village of Palmetto Bay;  ....
Sept 2015 meeting with SFWMD representatives at Village Hall

Please see my prior post of Friday, 1/13/2017 for additional background: Update on the SFWMD canals – two main meetings that I suggest those interested/impacted by the canal attend - and focus on the 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.  

Palmetto Bay is working to prevent further erosion, to control our canals - recently welcoming the Miami-Dade County Marine Patrol into the C100 canals (photo above right) - a welcomed sight, one that we trust will be a productive and ongoing endeavor.  
(Photos immediately above from the 1/20/17 canal bank erosion Town Hall)

I will continue to keep everyone up to date on events and negotiations as they occur.  The canals are a very sensitive, a very important, issue and I continue to lead a Village Council committed to finding the best solution available. 

Very truly yours,

Eugene Flinn, Mayor

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