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Front Page » Government » Vendors may get parks, libraries footholds

Vendors may get parks, libraries footholds


Written by on July 2, 2014

Vendors may get parks, libraries footholds

Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo wants to look at ways to commercialize county properties – for a price.

The commissioner is proposing that the county explore marketing partnerships with the private sector to raise additional county revenue.

The partnerships, Mr. Bovo said, could involve everything from giving vendors special access to public parks and libraries to allowing companies to advertise in designated spaces at county buildings and other venues.

“We have to walk a fine line,” he told Miami Today last week, referring to commercializing public facilities.

The proposal had been placed on the agenda for Tuesday’s commission meeting for a first reading but was withdrawn because Mr. Bovo wasn’t able to attend, so he plans to place it on the agenda for the next meeting July 15.

Mr. Bovo, chairman of the commission’s Finance Committee, said it’s a good time to consider alternatives to raise extra revenue, noting the county’s current financial pinch, which has officials planning about $208 million in cuts to balance the budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

“We’re going through the budget process,” he said. “We’re not going to raise taxes – the appetite just isn’t there.

“The question is, ‘Are there other ways to raise revenue?’”

It’s not the first time the county has broached the idea.

In 2012, Active Network, a national marketing firm, evaluated Miami-Dade’s strengths for a countywide marketing program and identified marketing opportunities with the most appeal to corporate partners and economic benefit to the county.

The categories included: beverage and snack vending, naming rights, licensing and branding, webpage and “WiFi” ventures, and recycling programs.

The study found that a marketing program covering those and other categories could initially generate $750,000 to $1 million a year.

The study recommended the county contract with an experienced marketing research and consulting firm, selected through competitive bidding, to assist county staff with up-to-date valuations of county assets, and monitoring corporate interest and sponsorship activity for potential leads.

“Compensation for such services would be derived directly as a percentage of revenue generated in a successful marketing partnership deal,” a county memo reads.

Mr. Bovo said he envisions ventures such as giving ice cream vendors operating rights at public parks, allowing coffee and pastry vendors to operate inside public libraries, and permitting companies to advertise on designated spaces at county facilities, among other possibilities.

He said perhaps the county should try a “pilot program” before diving into a “full-fledged commitment.”

2 Responses to Vendors may get parks, libraries footholds

  1. DC Copeland

    July 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Why not start off leasing naming rights to Miami Marine Stadium? In exchange for a major contribution for the restoration of the facility (you name a figure) the company gets to hang its shingle across the stadium’s entrance. I’d hit up Red Bull with hopes that they would invest millions in the upgrade and bring their brand of sporting events to the stadium. For example, its air races would be outstanding and a perfect fit since most of them are held in major cities around the world over water.

  2. Daniel Berger

    July 11, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Library Leases FY2013-14

    1. $75K,Calif Club Cost now: $37.80 an hour

    2. $113K, Lakes of the Meadows Cost now: $56.95 an hour

    3. $108K Concord Cost now: $54.43 an hour

    4. $108K Doral Cost now: $54.43 an hour

    5. $93K Fairlawn Cost now: $46.87 an hour

    6. $580K West Kendall Regional Cost now: $36.05 an hour
    7. $30,5K Hialeah Gardens Cost now: $15.37 an hour

    8. $79,5K Palm Springs North Cost now: $40.07 an hour
    This facility is used as the example for moving into a park building. The current library is about 4,500 sq ft and the nearby park building is about 400 sq feet.

    9. $25K South Shore Cost now: $12.60 an hour
    10. $86K Sunset Cost now: $43.34 an hour

    11. $17K Country Walk Cost now: $8.56 an hour

    12. $30K Tamiami Cost now: $15.12 an hour

    Officials solve the lease issue by saying that libraries should move into county buildings. However, Miami-Dade County charges its own county library system rent.

    For example:

    13. $261K Model City (A COUNTY OWNED FACILITY) Cost now: $131.55 an hour

    14. Main (A COUNTY OWNED FACILITY) Hours not expected to be reduced.

    FY 2013-2014 $2.4 million rent $1,209.67 an operating hour (after eviction from the basement and third floor to reduce the “rent”)

    FY 2012-2013 $5.1 million rent $2,570.56 an operating hour

    The cost of moving, of retrofitting buildings to be appropriate for the public, of paying off debt service costs will have to be pulled from the MDPLS underfunded budget.

    What seems like a good idea, is just a political sound bite and a poor reason for changing the charter.