Sweetwater wants to annex FIU engineering campus

Mayor wants Sweetwater to be known as 'university city'

SWEETWATER, Fla. - The City of Sweetwater wants to annex part of the Florida International University campus.

"We work very closely together," said the Mayor Manuel Moroño.

The city has a blue and gold logo, just like the university. It also operates a trolley system created especially for students. 

"Our trolleys are painted the same colors as FIU, we transport the kids from engineering campus to main campus with our trolley," said Moroño.

However, Sweetwater's city lines stop just short of any FIU property. Moroño wants to change that. He is proposing an annexation that would add FIU's Engineering Department, on Flagler and 107th Avenue, to the city of Sweetwater. 

"We just want to have that campus, one of the campus', in our city to be able to say that we are a university city."

According to Moroño, the change is insignificant to area residents and to Miami-Dade County.

"Nobody will pay taxes because there's not one resident, not one business included in the annexation. It's only the engineering campus." Moroño said.

But county commissioner Javier Souto said he won't pick a side in the debate.

"I think that we need to be very careful with anything that we do here in the future for the good of the order," said Souto.

Souto is encouraging his constituents to pay attention to the discussion.

"I want the best for this community," said Souto.

Should the long-time neighbors move in together? Ultimately it's up to the Miami Dade County Commission to decide. FIU is supportive. It's president, Mark Rosenberg, wrote a letter to commissioners saying:

"Knowing that our partnership will continue to strengthen and flourish, Sweetwater and FIU have jointly decided that extending Sweetwater's borders to encompass FIU's engineering center on west Flagler is a logical next step."

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