Miami Beach

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Letter: North Bay Village must upgrade utilities

 

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To submit your letter, e-mail sandron@MiamiHerald.com, or write Soapbox, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, FL 33172. Fax: 305-376-5287. Letters must address a specific LOCAL issue, and must be signed with a name, city or neighborhood, as well as a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters more than 350 words will not be accepted, and writers are limited to one letter every four weeks. Letters will run as space allows, and may be edited for length, style and clarity. The deadline for letters is noon Wednesday.


The North Bay Village infrastructure is worn out. Built in the 1940s, our infrastructure has already surpassed its expected life of 50 years and must be replaced. This situation is an opportunity to build the resilient infrastructure required to meet the reality of climate change and rising sea levels..

As a village commissioner, I propose a 10-year plan of action: North Bay Village, A Resilient Community.

Step One is to create a resilient electrical power grid. The old exposed overhead power lines cause frequent power outages. Burying the power lines will reduce that vulnerability, mitigate the risk of fire from exploding overhead transformers and improve our aesthetics.

Step Two is to replace the waste-water system. While digging the underground power grid, we simultaneously replace our aged waste water system. Like Miami Beach, we flood even in fine weather and it's getting worse. We need new, innovative waste-water management now. Doing simultaneously with the power grid will minimize disruption and costs for the most critical part of North Bay Village resiliency.

Step Three is to create a Public Safety and Municipal Complex. We must have modern, effective Fire and Public Safety that is not hampered by the bridges. North Bay Village already owns the land to build the complex. We should stop delaying and build now to ensure that we have a state of the art Fire Rescue and Public Safety facility to protect our islands.

All these plans come at a cost. The electrical improvements, the Public Safety complex and the master plans are already funded through authorized bond issues. We only need to execute.

For our waste water, the federal government offers an interest free program, BONDS to harden our infrastructure. There are also state and county programs to defray the costs. This is a large investment, maybe $20 million over 30 years, but these costs are small compared to the cost of delay. Time and tide wait for no man. North Bay Village, comprising three vulnerable islands, must meet the challenge of time, tide and climate.

Richard Chervony, Village Commissioner, North Bay Village

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