FYI Miami: October 16, 2014
NATURAL GAS: Three companies have applied to provide Miami-Dade County with a comprehensive compressed natural gas, or CNG, program. Tallahassee-based Nopetro, Chicago-based Trillium CNG and Newport Beach, CA-based Clean Energy are competing. The county had issued two competitive solicitations, one for the CNG conversion of public buses and another for the county’s heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks. All three companies applied for both. Nopetro has been awarded CNG infrastructure conversions in Florida by the Leon County and the Charlotte County school districts. Trillium CNG has designed, built and operates CNG fueling stations nationwide, its website says. Clean Energy has opened about 27 natural gas fueling stations, including one awarded by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. The next step is for a Miami-Dade selection committee to evaluate and rank the three applicants. The county commission will ultimately decide which company gets the contracts.
FUTURE PATH: Miami-Dade commissioners have directed Mayor Carlos Gimenez to offer within 60 days a plan to set up a 10-mile linear park along the Metrorail corridor tied to The Underline proposal. The Friends of the Underline group wants to transform the old M-path beneath the elevated Metrorail into a vibrant walkway, bike path and liner park from Brickell to Dadeland providing recreation options. The resolution noted that because the land is primarily Metrorail right-of-way, the county should take the lead in planning and promoting the project. The commission wants specifics on how to do the project, its cost, available funding sources and a timeline for construction.
BUYING WETLANDS: For years, Miami-Dade has been buying environmentally endangered land in the county to preserve and rehabilitate it. A county committee is to vote today (10/16) whether to spent $87,000 to buy 16.4 acres of wetland in South Miami-Dade located between the two national parks and outside the urban development boundary. Through its environmentally endangered lands program, Miami-Dade acquires, preserves, enhances, restores, conserves and maintains such endangered land. Preservation of the South Miami-Dade wetland is important because these lands in essence hinder the intrusion of salt water into the Biscayne Aquifer and because the land is home to endangered species. The county’s endangered lands program is funded through a voter-approved property tax that was levied in the past for two years. Today’s vote is preliminary.