FYI Miami: December 5, 2013
BRIDGE BONDS: County commissioners Tuesday approved issuing $34 million in bonds for improvements of the Rickenbacker Causeway. The work is to cost just less than $33.38 million, of which about $30 million will come from bonds and about $3 million from the Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department. To repay the bond, the county will use revenue from tolls, after paying for expenses, such as maintenance and repairs. The causeway runs across Biscayne Bay connecting the mainland to the barrier islands of Virginia Key and Key Biscayne. It consists of about 1.2 miles of bridges – the West, William Powell and Bear Cut bridges – and about 2.4 miles of roadway. The bonds will fund work to strengthen the roadway. State inspections last January discovered potentially failing load-bearing conditions on original portions of the Bear Cut and West bridges, which date to around 1944. Commissioners voted 11-1 to approve the bonds. Juan Zapata voted no.
BOND OUTLOOK SLIPS: Political challenges in raising additional revenue in Miami-Dade County coupled with a “narrow county financial condition” led Moody’s Investors Service last week to revise its outlook to negative from stable on $136 million in Miami-Dade County fixed-rate bonds issued in 2010 and 2011 through the Sunshine State Governmental Financing Commission. Moody’s kept the rating on the bonds at Aa3. The bonds are secured by county revenues other than property taxes. Moody’s pointed to county “budgetary structural challenges in the near term.”
DORAL ANNEXATION: An annexation petition from the Islands at Doral Community Development District passed the county commission by a unanimous vote Tuesday. The district, created in 2004, wanted to expand by adding 4.09 acres from land touching its boundaries. The commission on Nov. 5 first OK’d the ordinance granting the petition, and this week it voted 12-0 to approve the annexation.
FLORIDA TRADE SIXTH: For the first three quarters of this year, Florida has maintained its rank as handling the nation’s sixth-largest amount of export merchandise. Florida is ninth in the nation in final destination of imports and seventh in overall international trade, according to the Florida Foreign Trade Association. During the nine months, the association said, Florida had a trade deficit of $8.38 billion – the amount that its imports exceeded its exports.