Written by Miami Today on November 11, 2010
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LOBBYING THE STATE: Miami-Dade has picked Tallahassee lobbyists. On Nov. 4 the county commission awarded contracts to Ronald L. Book PA, based in Aventura, and Rutledge, Ecenia & Purnell PA, based in Tallahassee. Contracts are set at $225,000 per company per year, with an additional $50,000 allotted to cover work orders and optional services. County Manager George Burgess’s recommendation provides for up to three one-year options-to-renew, placing the contract’s value at $2 million.
UP TO CODE: Now that the Miami Parking Authority referendum has failed, it’s back to business with city-authority dealings. A key initiative, said Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado: getting unpaved parking areas in line with city code. Parking meters in unpaved areas — most of which are dirt — need to be removed or the area must be paved at the authority’s expense, he said. He estimated several dozen meters could be removed, most of which are in the Coral Way, Shenandoah and Allapattah areas.
COIN-FREE FUTURE: Yet ten years from now, parking meters could be obsolete in Miami, Miami Parking Authority CEO Art Noriega said at last week’s authority board meeting. Parking fees could be pay-by-phone exclusively. It’s the cheapest, most cost-effective way to pay and is the "only way to make money" with the system, he said. "It is the future."
CHILLING OUT: In a move that could reduce Miami-Dade’s electricity bill by more than a half-million dollars a year, the county commission adopted Nov. 4 a resolution calling for a $20.3 million allotment to connect and expand downtown chiller plants to cool three new county buildings. Buildings within the Downtown Government Center are currently cooled with chilled water piped in from the Central Support Facility Chiller Plant at 200 NW First St. The construction of the South Tower at Overtown Transit Village, the West Lot Garage & Office Building and the Children’s Courthouse, to be complete by 2014, are forecast to increase cooling demands at that chilled water plant by 50%. Nearly $2.7 million of the $20.3 million project would be funded through Florida Power & Light rebates, $1.6 from a 2007 capital asset acquisition bond issuance and $16 million from a lease-purchase agreement.
GIVING-BACK READY: Funding for nonprofit is shifting as corporate-sector support increases, said Leila Chang Ripich, CEO of Hands on Miami. The organization is also seeing significant interest in its "turnkey" volunteer programs, making it easier for corporations to get employees involved.
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