Miami Lakes

Miami Lakes agrees to help Miami Gardens with flood management

Miami Lakes Town Manager Alex Rey
Miami Lakes Town Manager Alex Rey Miami Herald File

Miami Lakes’ building department will assist Miami Gardens with its flood-plain management services and technical support services.

The agreement passed a 4-1 at the May 5 Miami Lakes council meeting, with Mayor Michael Pizzi the sole vote in opposition.

Miami Lakes has a top rated flood-plain management program that allots its residents a 25 percent discount in flood insurance.

As part of the deal, Miami Lakes employees will aid Miami Gardens with performing flood-plain review and inspections, reviewing and updating the city’s flood-plain management ordinance, determining flood zone status, and preparing flood zone maps.

Miami Gardens will reimburse the town for the salary and benefits of the employees providing services, as well as pay an overhead rate.

Miami Lakes Town Manager Alex Rey said that the deal is part of Miami Lakes’ strategic plan to start outsourcing consulting services.

“We will learn in the process as well, in terms of things they might be doing that we can bring back to us,” Rey said. “So it strengthens the technical ability of our own department as well.”

Council members brought up concerns at the meeting such as employees taking on additional work, and the potential for town services being affected by the agreement.

“If God forbid, there is a hurricane or a hurricane or a flood or something like that, I want our officials focused on Miami Lakes and not getting calls from Miami Gardens or Key Biscayne or somewhere else,” Pizzi said.

Rey said the services provided will not be operational.

“If there is a hurricane they have absolutely zero responsibilities towards Miami Gardens. Their only responsibility is here,” he said. “It’s more professional technical consulting than operational responsibilities.”

Some on the council said they’re looking forward to expanding Miami Lakes’ services to other municipalities.

“Our building department is the jewel of the town,” Councilman Nelson Rodriguez said. “I’m just proud that we were asked by our sister city, who’s pretty big, next door for us to help.”

Rey said the agreement needs to be voted on by Miami Gardens before taking effect.