FYI Miami: September 18, 2014
NATURAL GAS BIDS: The deadline to seek a contract to set up a compressed natural gas program for Miami-Dade County has been extended two weeks. Applications are now due Sept. 25. Miami-Dade wants to save by converting some county-owned vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG). Specifically, it wants to convert buses and heavy-duty trucks used by the Water and Sewer and the Public Works and Waste Management departments. The county seeks a sweeping program – not only is the contractor to convert vehicles to CNG but also upgrade infrastructure and set up CNG fueling stations. The county is looking at earning revenue by opening the stations to the public. Before the solicitation, commissioners tweaked its language several times to avoid allegations that it’s customized to particular firms. Companies had heavily lobbied for months for the coveted contract.
TANKSGIVING: Miami gasoline prices are falling and are expected to keep dropping in weeks ahead. The average price as of Monday was $3.39 a gallon for regular, the same as the national average, said analyst Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy price tracking service. Prices in some southern states, he said, may fall below $3 a gallon by Halloween. On Monday the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s requirement to produce summer-blended gasoline ended for the year, AAA analysts said, “which will help push prices even lower in the coming months.” Miami gas prices were down 20.3 cents a gallon from a year earlier and 5.8 cents a gallon lower than a month ago, GasBuddy said.
THE LAST PIECE: The plan to bring improvements and a railroad theme to downtown’s main east-west artery, Flagler Street, are chugging along. City commissioners on Sept. 11 accepted $6 million from Miami-Dade County for its share of the Flagler Streetscape project, the last portion of funding needed to green light the $13 million project. The city allocated $6 million in street bond funds, and $1 million is coming from a one-time special assessment district collection. The main components of the facelift go out for bid this month. The work includes a complete reconstruction of Flagler between Biscayne Boulevard and Southwest First Avenue, including roadway and drainage improvements, decorative street and pedestrian lighting, utilities relocation and signage and pavement markings. The project is meant to enhance walkability, promote retail and commercial business growth and provide new permanent jobs throughout the central business district.