Water Authority Votes to Request the County to Purchase Proposed Reservoir Property

The Dade County Water & Sewer Authority held a special called meeting this Monday evening to discuss the property on Sells Lane. An invitation was extended to the Dade County Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners elected not to call a meeting of their own, but attended the meeting separately, as members of the public.
The Water & Sewer Authority revealed they had felt that Attorney Robin Rogers, who advised them previously on all legal matters, was unable to provide proper consultation on this particular project, due to a conflict of interest from also representing the County. Therefore, they hired a separate attorney solely for this matter, Mike McRae. On McRae’s recommendation, the Water Authority hired Core Blue Developments for $6,650 to do a feasibility study on the property; subsequently advising that the Water Board discontinue the project. Core Blue did not state that the reservoir could not be built, but gave several reasons as to why it would be costly and lengthy.
During the special called meeting, the Board unanimously voted in favor of a recommendation that the Dade County Board of Commissioners take over full responsibility of the project, including owed debts. The remaining debt from the GEFA loan provided for this project is $345,848.13. The following is the recommendation presented to the attending commissioners;
“We just don’t have the man-power,” said Water Board Chairman Eddie Cantrell. Cantrell said that the Water Authority wants to move forward with the project, but can’t conceive of a way that they would be able to do so, given their current funds and resources.
Each commissioner gave specific feedback on the recommendation. Referring to the public announcement of the Water Board’s unwillingness to continue the project without having first gone to the County Commission, Commissioner Lamar Lowery spoke about the distrust that the Water Board had created amongst the two Boards. “It’s not what you did that was wrong; it’s how you went about it.” Commissioner Robert Goff gave an impassioned speech stating that, regardless of who is in control, the project must move forward to ensure future of Dade County’s access to clean water.
You can watch the entire meeting here:
The Commissioners, unable to meet and discuss as this was not a publicly called meeting of that board, will discuss further during their December 2nd regularly scheduled meeting.
by Orey Yates