FYI Miami: January 23, 2014
CONSTRUCTION SOARS: The total of South Florida’s bid construction contracts far more than doubled in 2013 from 2012, according to BidClerk, a construction data company. The area’s bid construction contract totals grew third fastest in the nation among the top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas region, rising 116.07% to more than $4.79 billion value for all bidding contracts that contained concrete. The Tampa-St. Petersburg area topped the nation with a 203.76% increase to $4.42 billion. Second-fastest growth was the Detroit area, a hair ahead of South Florida at 116.62% though far behind in bid totals at $1.61 billion.
CONSUMER PRICES RISE: The Consumer Price Index for South Florida rose 1.9% in 2013, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. The big driver in the increase, said the bureau, was the 2.4% annual rise in the cost of housing. Food prices in the area rose 0.8%, all of that being the 2.6% rise in the cost of eating out, because prices for food at home dipped a tenth of a percentage point. Energy prices in the area rose 1.4%, with gasoline and other motor fuels up 2%, piped gas up 3,8% and electricity rising 0.4%. South Florida clothing prices rose 7.8% during the year.
LIVE AND WORK: In what is stated as a measure to have more Miami-Dade County workers live within the county, Commissioner Javier Souto is sponsoring a resolution to get a report from the administration within 30 days on the percentage of county-paid workers who have lived in the county each year since 2007, when the county repealed an ordinance requiring residency in the county by many employees. The finance committee forwarded the measure to the full commission last week 4-0 with a favorable recommendation. The resolution says the county benefits by having its workers paying local property taxes and the county “has an interest in attracting members of the working class to live and work within Miami-Dade County.”
COUNTY CAR-SHARING: Miami-Dade commissioners are to be asked Feb. 4 to order the mayor’s office to solicit car-sharing proposals to cut the cost of maintaining and operating county cars. The measure by Bruno Barreiro got a favorable recommendation last week from the Transportation & Aviation Committee on a 4-0 vote. His measure says New York, Boston, Chicago, Austin and Washington, DC, “have partnered with car sharing companies such as Zipcar and car2go to create car sharing programs” that improve efficiency and cut costs of maintenance, fueling, billing and distribution of cars. The mayor’s office would be asked to bring to the commission within 60 days a proposed car-sharing bid solicitation.