County Executive Ted Rumley made two appearances this week to inform the public on multiple land development deals that Dade County is taking part in. Rumley announced the information first at the Lunch & Learn hosted by the Alliance for Dade on Thursday, February 24th. Rumley followed those announcements with elaboration on the K-WIN Today program the following Thursday.
Dade County, in a joint venture with the City of Trenton will be moving forward with plans to erect a new animal shelter behind the current transfer station. “People don’t understand how many calls we get relating to animals; and more than just dogs and cats,” said Rumley. “We have a really nice road going down to it. We have a blueprint for a project that’s way larger than we’ll ever need, but we’re going to cut it in half.” Rumley went on to say that, while he isn’t sure that it will be functional by next year, they will be working through the summer to make it ready.
He also announced plans for Dade County to move ahead on purchasing the Sales Lane property from the Dade County Water and Sewer Authority that will be the site of the proposed reservoir. Recently the water company approached the County to take over the property, as they didn’t feel they were able to move ahead with the reservoir plans. Rumley stated they would be moving forward with a recreational facility on the land; with areas to fish and kayak in the creek. During this time, they’ll start he permitting process and go through various agencies to solidify the plans for the reservoir. “It’s looking real good. We’re getting the interest dissolved (for the loan) on that property by working with GEFA. The property is critical for this county,” says Rumley. “We have plans for it while the process is going through. The recreation part we are (proceeding with). We’ll pick a nice place for people to go down and enjoy Lookout Creek and enjoy themselves. We’ll have a path and parking area.”
According to Rumley, the county will also be looking to do a land-swap with the Dade County Board of Education; swapping the land the high school football field, clubhouse, and surrounding buildings are on for the land on which the North Dade School and community center is currently located. Rumley elaborated that the land was originally built with SPLOST money from the B.O.E. but became too expensive. Sole Commissioner at the time, Larry Moore devoted County SPLOST funds to finishing the project, as it was a requirement for Dade County High School to become accredited. Since then, the county has leased the land to the school for a low yearly rate. “It’s a win/win for both of us. They’ve got things in the future they want to do with that property,” said Rumley. He went on to say that the county would consider using the 13-14 acre lot in Wildwood that they would be receiving to place a storm shelter; and they may be able to use the school property, specifically the lunchroom area, as dry storage for documents the county is required to keep. The resolution for the land swap will be on the agenda for the County Commission meeting Thursday, March 3rd.
Among the discussion, Rumley announced to those attending the Alliance’s Lunch & Learn that the county was proposing a sale of county-owned property off Back Valley Road. He elaborated on the K-WIN Today program that this property had originally been purchased for the purpose to expand the landfill that had been planned on Back Valley Road. The landfill wasn’t built, but the county will maintain that property; the auction will be of the adjacent 30+ acres of developed land. Rumley explains that the property will be posted for the next couple weeks, and should go to auction on or around April 15th.
Rumley followed that information up by saying that the county is hopeful the money from the sale of the land will be used to fund the development of the new voting precinct. Currently, the precinct resides in the county’s administration building. Rumley admits that there has been an issue with hosting voting in that building for quite some time. “Technically, they’re breaking the law,” says Rumley on the K-WIN Today program. He elaborates that active political candidates have been working inside the administration building during active elections; a problem they are trying to alleviate with the new precinct. The new precinct will be placed in the land behind the Bank of Dade’s Highway 11 North location.
Toward the end of the K-WIN Today interview, Rumley explains that the current warm weather is allowing them to finish preparations on Murphy Hollow road, so they are able to get that paving project finished in the spring. “Murphy Hollow has more traffic than people realize.” He continued that the county would like to get back on their storm shelter projects, as soon as the weather dries up to be able to allow the large equipment trucks to continue construction.
The Dade County Board of Commissioners will hold their monthly scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 3rd at 7pm, following a work session at 6pm in the administration building.
by Orey Yates