The Interlocal Agreement Between Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches is Cancelled!
Thursday, March 9, 2012 – After four months, a previously deferred motion to terminate the Fire/EMS/Water Inter-Local Agreement with Southwest Ranches was reintroduced and the result was the contract was terminated for convenience. For the past six months, this contract has come under “fire” from the prison opposition movement due to the incorporation of two clauses, which supported the proposed ICE immigrant prison through a provision guaranteeing water capacity within the City and that a water/sewer agreement would be expeditiously approved.
At the time that this agreement was approved, the City of Pembroke Pines Commissioners were unsure as to their rights in denying water to land parcels that are located outside their municipal boundaries, as well as the fact that the project in question poses a public safety issue. The current water treatment plant capacity has also been questioned as the City is dangerously close to its maximum capacity, which would cause them to either build another treatment plant or find an alternative water source by implementing a treated sewage plan drawn up by the City Staff costing the city about 150 million dollars to build (many different figures have been used to describe this cost to the city).
The City was advised by their newly appointed independent attorney Usher Brown that a declaratory action would enable them to get any claims that CCA is making with respect to water/sewer service be determined by a court instead of them being assumed. This morning, CCA filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Pembroke Pines since their headquarters are located outside the State of Florida. It seems that the City’s obligations to CCA’s prison parcel will be determined by a court one way or another. However, one thing has already been determined in the court of public opinion – the non-partisan residents in the area of Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches are vehemently opposed to this facility being placed here and they stand with the local organizations of Florida Immigrant Coalition, the Broward Democratic Hispanic Caucus and The Hispanic Vote PAC to defeat this immigrant prison. These residents along with over 60 organizations of faith, labor and community groups, including the ACLU, continue to speak out against CCA’s privatization efforts nationwide. Community groups will stand in unity at a protest held tonight at 7PM in front of the Border Patrol office located at 15720 Pines Blvd in Pembroke Pines, FL.