River Cities Gazette

Town of Medley dealing with BTR issues

MORE ISSUES: New Medley town attorney Steve Helfman found himself once again dealing with issues left by his predecessor Michael Pizzi at last Monday's Medley meeting.
MORE ISSUES: New Medley town attorney Steve Helfman found himself once again dealing with issues left by his predecessor Michael Pizzi at last Monday's Medley meeting.
Gazette Photo/BILL DALEY

River Cities Gazette

Even though the Town of Medley would like to forget the messy saga and departure of  Michael Pizzi, a situation cropped up surrounding the former town attorney that nobody could get around at Medley’s monthly meeting on Monday night, Nov. 4.

Business owner Oscar De La Paz from formerly La Victoria Auto Parts stepped up to the podium on Monday night to air his displeasure to the council over a “deal” he thought he had with the town that Medley had not delivered on.

With new buyers LKQ coming in for his property and a BTR (Business Tax Receipt) necessary in order to successfully proceed with the sale, De La Paz went before the council to inform them of a “handshake deal” he had with Pizzi months ago.

“(Pizzi) said, ‘I need a dedication on 87th Avenue,’ ” said De La Paz, referring to the land that the company owns and an 87th Avenue project that has been on the drawing board for a while and the clear understanding that with the dedication would come the BTR. “Being from New York, I can take it.”

But then came last Aug. 6 when Pizzi was arrested on briberty charges by the feds as the mayor of Miami Lakes, which soon after led to his resignation at Medley town attorney.

With that, things were back to square one as far as De La Paz getting his much sought-after BTR. He went before the council on Monday night to plead his case.

Predictably, new town attorney Steve Helfman along with town building officals, Mayor Roberto Martell and all council members told of having no clue about any such “arrangement.”

“We understand your situation and want to make sure you get what you need but things need to be done properly,” said Martell. “This is an ongoing business that should be given a BTR.”

Even though none could be given out at the moment, the council assured De La Paz that his case would be expedited quickly to get a fast resolution.

One other building owner, Rolando Castillo, who owns the seafood distribution building at 7289 NW 78th Ave. was present to complain that he had been waiting way too long with an empty building waiting for a new business to move in.

“They came out, inspected the place, took pictures and then everything stalled,” said Castillo. “I was told initially that this did not have to go before council, which I guess has delayed the process.”

“Who told you that?” inquired Vice Mayor Griselia Digiacomo. Castillo could only reply, “Someone in the building department.”

“I’m here to take the heat, but I have to make sure that things are now being done correctly,” Martell told Castillo. “I can assure you that the town will work diligently to get things done quickly.”

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Miami Herald

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