Some 100 Cutler Bay residents attended Mayor Edward P. MacDougall’s State of the Town Address on Thursday, Nov. 14, in the sixth floor penthouse of the Town Center Building. Mayor MacDougall welcomed everyone and in an unscripted address touched on the accomplishments of the past year for what he called the newest incorporated municipality within Miami-Dade County. “Our Town has one of the lowest millage rates in the county, at 2.57 per $1,000 of assessed property value,” MacDougall said in an introductory statement. “We have a bright outlook of our future growth in both commercial and high-end residential units. This growth will produce a positive economic impact by creating both new permanent jobs — 500 — and construction related jobs — 655 — with a total capital investment of $70 million.” Also attending were Vice Mayor Ernest N. Sochin and his wife, Rhoda; Councilmembers Peggy Bell and Mary Ann Mixon, and town staff. Councilmember Sue Ellen Loyzelle was unable to attend. The mayor introduced Justin Koren, the lead teacher at Cutler Bay Academy for Advanced Studies, Centennial Campus and a number of the ninth and 10th grade students. MacDougall mentioned that Cutler Bay is the first and only local government in Miami-Dade County to have achieved the Florida Green Building Council’s Silver Certification and praised the town’s encouragement of the use of renewable energy sources “in order to diversify the state’s energy supplies, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and mitigate the effects of climate change.” In mentioning accomplishments the mayor included new restaurants, such as the Olive Garden, and businesses like City Furniture that have been attracted to Cutler Bay. Another accomplishment is the town’s flood mitigation plan, which is intended to reduce flood losses and help lower flood insurance rates for residents. The finance department repeatedly has won awards for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. The Parks and Recreation Department has implemented a number of programs for adults and senior citizens as well as special programs and bike safety events for children. The Cutler Bay Policing Unit’s Neighborhood Resource Unit has conducted numerous presentations at area schools. The mayor stressed that Cutler Bay an excellent place to live, work and play. “Cutler Bay’s government is creative, responsive and respectful in providing innovative and cost effective services to the community,” MacDougall stated.
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