FYI Miami: November 13, 2014
SPEEDING UP: Miami-Dade has changed procurement for Jackson Health System contracts. An ordinance the county commission OK’d last week aims to speed up the awarding of contracts for capital improvements at Jackson facilities. To do that, it vests authority to run Jackson procurement in the healthcare network’s trustees and hospital staff. Formerly the procurement was administered by the county’s Internal Services Department. The speeding up is significant now as Jackson is slated for major improvements funded by 2013 voter-approved $830 million taxpayer-supported bonding. Planned renovation includes upgrades of patient units, emergency and operating rooms, equipment and information technology. Jackson, a nonprofit healthcare network that’s partially funded by taxpayers, absorbs a lot of the county’s uninsured patients. The upgrades are expected to help Jackson attract more insured patients to offset the hospital’s cost of treating the uninsured. The commission’s approval of the fast-tracking was final, although the dais called for Jackson to eventually publicly present how it would handle procurement. HISTORIC UPDATES: Miami-Dade commissioners want to stay in the loop on buildings the county is considering for historic designation. They unanimously voted Nov. 5 to direct staff to provide a report detailing what buildings are considered for historic designation. In addition, staff is to notify the district’s commissioner whenever a property is being considered for historic designation. The approval of the measure by Sally Heyman was final. WYNWOOD PARKING: The Miami Parking Authority’s parking initiative in the Wynwood Arts District has been success so far, said authority COO Alejandra Argudin, reporting to the Off-Street Parking Board on Nov. 5. The city’s parking agency launched the program in October hoping to bring virtual parking to the area via the PayByPhone program, allowing motorists to use smartphones to pay for parking. The program had a grace period of 15 days when only warning citations were handed out. Even after the full launch Oct. 15, she said there hasn’t been a “hard push” by enforcement personnel. Instead, she said, they are trying to educate people about the program and PayByPhone. “People are using the app,” she said, with numbers rising since Oct. 15. The agency has ambassadors in Wynwood to explain the program and point out Pay and Display machines that are available for people who don’t have a smartphone or the PayByPhone app.