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Miami Mayor Challenges County On Sewage System Overhaul Plan

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(Source: CBS4)

(Source: CBS4)

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David Sutta joined the CBS4 news team in April of 2007. As S...
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Politics

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Plans to overhaul Miami-Dade county’s aging sewer system is taking heat from Miami’s Mayor. Mayor Tomas Regalado is challenging the county over plans he believes he should have a say in.  The controversy is playing out quite publicly in the Miami Herald although it’s not clear why.

In Tuesday’s editorial section of the paper, next to a picture of broken sewer pipe loaded with you know what, Regalado called out the county mayor for not inviting him to the table.

“Hopefully it caught the eye of the county.” Regalado said.

His opinion piece goes on a tangent about covering politics in Washington DC. Eventually though he brings up the county’s multi-billion dollar plans to replace some 14,000 miles of aging sewer and water pipes. Regaldo explained to CBS4, “They soon have to start the project and when they do they are going to start in Miami because it’s the oldest infrastructure.”

The overhaul will without a doubt affect every resident of the city and the county at some point.

“We are not asking much from the county. Just sit down with the county staff,” Regalado said.

Miami’s Mayor wants water and sewer folks to meet with him so that they work together. He predicts the conversation will go something like this, “This is what we have planned for the City of Miami for the next year and half. Do you have anything planned for the city? If we pave this road are you going to break it. If you are going to break it are you going to fix it?”

CBS4’s David Sutta caught up with Douglas Yoder, the deputy director for Miami-Dade’s Water and Sewer Department, Tuesday afternoon.

“That’s not a bad idea. We’ve been doing that and I think we will continue to do that with our implementation of this large program,” Yoder said. Essentially what Regalado is asking for them to do, they are already doing it.

“We have had in place for years a program to work with the cities when we go through the process of doing work within the city.” Yoder explained. According to the deputy director, the program actually tracks road improvements so that sewer overhauls happen at the same time.

“It’s a good idea for us and the cities to work together,” he said.

Regalado counters that doesn’t always happen, “In the past we haven’t had that kind of communication with the county.”

The county said they’ll continue to speak with cities about upcoming projects. However they’ll probably just need a phone call instead of an op-ed piece in the paper.

“Oh we are always available for a call.” Yoder said while half-laughing.

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