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Front Page » Top Stories » Fyi Miami

Fyi Miami

Written by on June 15, 2000

FYI Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.

KEY TO DINNER KEY: Miami commissioners

by emergency ordinance hired Fernando Z. Gatell to survey properties

in the Dinner Key area. Two projects — the Grove Harbor Marina

& Caribbean Market Place and redevelopment of the Coconut Grove

Convention Center — are stalled until the city negotiates a

lease with the state for submerged lands that are outside the city’s

control. Officials said the survey, to cost up to $22,765, was needed

to complete those negotiations. Emergency action was used because

the city got just two bids.


Miami commissioners last year created a jurisdictional boundaries

committee to look at expanding city limits by annexing unincorporated

areas, Commissioner Arthur Teele said last week he wants to cancel

a board he says faces a hopeless task. With a three millage point

difference between city and county property taxes, he said, the

city needs to first focus on lowering taxes and fees before it can

hope to attract new residents.

JUST FINE: The Florida Department

of Environmental Protection has let Miami off the hook for $21,000

in fines for dredging without a valid permit. In return, the city

has agreed to an in-kind penalty project, expediting $400,000 for

Wagner Creek dredging that City Manager Carlos Gimenez said the

city already has funded.


Martin Margulies, who pledged about $2 million for a youth recreation

center in Overtown, has created a nonprofit, the Overtown Youth

Center, to build and operate a $2.7 million center in Gibson Park.

Miami commissioners last week approved a management agreement with

the entity, which must raise added money to operate the 17,000-square-foot

center to include educational and sports activities.


plans to install a computerized system that would make it easier

for citizens to research city resolutions and ordinances and retrieve

city agendas and other documents, said City Clerk Walter Foeman.

Commissioners last week agreed to seek competitive bids to purchase

Legistar, an information tracking system officials say would reduce

paperwork and staff time to generate agendas and documents.


Due to the mushrooming number of computers now working on the City

of Miami’s network, commissioners agreed last week to spend $26,500

on trouble-shooting equipment and software. Over the past year,

as the city upgraded computer systems, the number of computers in

use doubled while the number of computer sites grew from three to

40, officials say.


firm DMG-Maximus was awarded a $27,500 City of Miami contract, renewable

for two more years, to develop a cost allocation plan. The firm

will identify hidden costs to the city as it administers federal

grant programs. The city will use the information to seek reimbursement

from the federal government.

CITY CARS: Miami’s Department

of Community Development will spend up to $437,597 to buy 27 Ford

Taurus cars from Gus Machado Ford. The cars, bought with grant funds

from the US Department of Housing, are used for on-site inspections

and other tasks related to managing federal grants.

GRANT FUNDING: Miami got $372,792

in state grants last week to fund programs for the developmentally

disabled. The city provides transportation and other services to

91 disabled adults. Miami also received $46,453 in county grants

to improve access for the disabled at city parks.

DEFICIT ALERT: Although Miami

officials project a $6.4 million budget surplus for 2000, the city

could face a $10 million deficit by 2005 if spending continues to

outpace revenues, said Bertha Henry, assistant city manager of finance

and administration. City revenues, she said, are growing at an average

2.3% per year while expenditures are growing at 3.1% due to skyrocketing

health insurance and pension costs. Pension costs, at more than

$13 million this year, may top $16 million next year.

LENNAR GROWS: Lennar Corp. has

become the nation’s largest home builder with the $1.2 billion acquisition

of Houston-based US Home, based on last year’s combined revenue

of $4.6 billion. Brian Bilzin, John Kuhn and Monalee Zarapkar of

Bilzin Sumberg et al. and David McCain, Lennar’s general counsel,

represented Lennar in the acquisition. Chicago-based Bank One was

lead lender. Lennar CEO Stuart Miller is profiled on page 4.


Health Partnership, an HMO, renewed its 70,984-square-foot lease

at Airport Corporate Center, 7600 Corporate Center Drive. In the

transaction, Bert Sanders of Julien J. Studley Inc. represented

the tenant while Randy J. Olen and Tony Puente of Insignia-ESG represented

the landlord.

CITIBANK LEASE: Citibank leased

5,962 square feet for 60 months at Esso InterAmerica Building, 396

Alhambra Circle. Codina’s Marshall Philpitt and Dean Miller represented

both landlord and tenant in the deal.

BOMA CLASSES: The local chapter

of Building Owners & Managers Association is sponsoring courses

leasing to the Real Property Administrator and Facilities Management

Administrator designations beginning June 16. Classes are held from

8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays-Sundays at BellSouth, 600 NW 79th Ave. Details:

(305) 530-0083.

STILL RACHLIN: The accounting

and business consulting firm Rachlin Cohen & Holtz announced a merger

with another North Miami-based firm, Thaw Gopman & Associates, retaining

the name Rachlin Cohen & Holtz. Thaw Gopman, which has 20 members,

was founded in 1963.


Foreign Trade Association and the Trade Section of the Consulate

of the Argentine Republic are sponsoring an incoming trade mission

delegation from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 20 & 21 in the McLamore Executive

Education Center at UM’s business school. Representatives will be

available for business appointments from Giorgio Beneti, Sidal,

Bergomi, Therabel Pharma, Liptech, Lomas, Tomografia de Hormigon

Armado and M.V. Vajillas. Call for appointments. Details: (305)



Bush named J. Antonio Villamil chairman of a newly formed 11-member

Council of Economic Advisors. Mr. Villamil is former director of

the Office of Tourism, Trade & Economic Development and his replacement,

Pamela Dana, will serve as an ex officio member. Also named to the

council from Miami are Anthony T. Bryan, senior research associate

at the University of Miami; Manuel Lasaga, president of Analysis

Inc. StratInfo; and Stephen O. Morrel, professor of economics &

finance at Barry University. The council is charged with studying

the impact of local, national and global economic forces in the



Lung Association of South Florida announced a $500,000 grant to

fund an Asthma Clinical Research Center at the University of Miami

School of Medicine for five years. The center, placed under the

direction of Dr. Adam Warner, becomes part of a network in the US

focused on identifying researchers as well as treating patients.

CITY HIRES: City Manager Carlos

Gimenez named William W. Bryson chief for the more than 600-member

City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue and John Jackson director

of public works. Chief Bryson, a 25-year department veteran, had

been deputy fire chief. Hired by the department in 1971 he become

lieutenant in ’81, a captain in ’84 and a district chief in ’90.

He is also a past president of the Miami Association of Firefighters.

Mr. Jackson had been the department’s acting director and was assistant

director for 11 years before that.


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