FYI Miami: May 7, 2015
AIRPORT UPGRADES: Miami International Airport plans to spend $212 million to upgrade its aging Central Terminal. The airport will use the funds for upgrades in Concourse E, one of three concourses in that terminal, “to accommodate projected and airline and passenger needs” with “critical renovations,” said a memo from Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt to county commissioners. Commissioners were being asked this week to accept $4.6 million from the Florida Department of Transportation to help fund the project. The state department already has $22 million in its five-year work plan ticketed for the project, leaving the county Aviation Department to fund about almost $186 million from its reserve maintenance budgets to complete the job. A long list of items included in the plans for Concourse E and the Concourse E satellite includes four new passenger bridges, nine new passenger elevators, air conditioning replacement and refurbishing, re-roofing and installation of efficient LED lighting fixtures.
OPA-LOCKA EXPANSION: Turnberry Airport Holdings LLC would construct at least 85,000 square feet of aircraft storage and service hangars at Opa-locka Executive Airport under a revised lease agreement with the county that Miami-Dade commissioners were to act on this week. The company, managed by Jeffrey Soffer, would build two 30,000-square-foot hangars and a 25,000-square-foot three-story building for general aviation operations and also eight acres of ramp space at the county-owned airport. The company has already invested $22 million at the site based on a loan from Florida Community Bank, and intends to invest another $17 million for the new facilities, county documents state. Turnberry would received a revised lease on the site for 40 more years and get a 20-month extension from its earlier lease to complete construction.
WHO COMES NEXT? Mayor Carlos Gimenez would be directed to report to county commissioners within 60 days every senior county position in every department expected to be vacated by retirements in the next three years under a resolution by Juan Zapata that fellow Miami-Dade County commissioners were to consider this week. The resolution says that it’s vital that “county departments engage in leadership planning now to ensure quick and smooth transitions later.” All departmental appointments fall within the purview of the mayor and his team. Commissioners officially have no say in such appointments.