FYI Miami: November 14, 2013
WHERE’S OUR CUT?: More than eight years after Miami-Dade cut deals with pari-mutuel operators that allowed the use of slot machines, Commissioner Bruno Barreiro is asking where the county’s share of the money went and what it was used for. He’s calling for a report within 60 days of how much the county’s share has been, how it has been used and what the rights and duties of both the gambling operators and the county are under those agreements. A resolution containing his request is working its way through the commission process it was on the Finance Committee’s agenda Tuesday but wasn’t considered. In January 2005 the commission authorized then county manager George Burgess to negotiate the deals with the pari-mutuels. County voters enabled the use of slots in January 2008.
ZONING TAKEOVER: Citing the goal of attracting major manufacturing, business management and other economic drivers, Miami-Dade commissioners last week took total control of zoning applications for projects within the ZooMiami area, the former Homestead Air Force Base, office buildings or complexes of more than 125,000 square feet, and movie studios or manufacturing developments of 50 acres and up. The vote was 10-0 with no discussion. The county’s Land Use & Development Committee had approved the takeover Oct. 10. Supporters said the direct commission control would make the county more appealing to investors.
FISHER MAIN: Miami-Dade County’s Finance Committee has approved a $5.5 million contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. for contract administration and construction management to install a 60-inch sewer main on Fisher Island. The deal would include permitting, design and other work involved with replacing the existing 54-inch sanitary sewer force main at Fisher Island, under the Norris Cut Channel, to the central district waste water treatment plant on Virginia Key. On Tuesday, the committee forwarded the measure to the full county commission with a favorable recommendation.
PUMP RELIEF: Gasoline prices in Miami keep declining, though not as fast as across the nation, and now average $3.28 per gallon, 19.9 cents a gallon lower than a year ago, says GasBuddy’s survey of 1,690 service stations here. National prices average $3.20 per gallon and nearly 15% of all US gas stations now are selling gasoline under the $3 mark, says GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan. “Prices nationally could drop to as little as $3.05 a gallon by Christmas,” he said. AAA says Florida prices now average $3.198 per gallon statewide.