FYI Miami: November 5, 2015
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RESIDENTIAL STARTS STUMBLE: Residential construction starts in South Florida in September dropped to less than a third of the level of September 2014, Dodge Data & Analytics reported last week. Starts fell to $312 million from $952 million the prior September, Dodge reported. But residential starts for the tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach are still up 19% for the first nine months of the year, up from $2.12 billion to $2.54 billion. Commercial starts in September rose 25% to $222 million, and for the first nine months of the year they rose 20% to $2.54 billion, Dodge said.
NEW RIDES: Miami is looking to buy or lease hundreds of new cars for police personnel and other employees. City commissioners approved Santander Bank to provide an estimated $32 million capital to lease or buy about 1,000 fleet and police cars, approved the costs of financing, and authorized the city manager to negotiate and execute a lease agreement. A background memo says the city needs to buy about 300 fleet and police vehicles this fiscal year. Thereafter, staff estimates that within several years the city will need to buy about 700 more. The purchase or lease will be through an agreement with the Florida Sheriffs Association.
TRAINING FUTURE VETS: Miami-Dade County could become home to the second college of veterinary medicine in Florida. County commissioners Tuesday voted to partner with Florida International University to help create a veterinary college at the school. The University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville is the only veterinary college in the state university system. The resolution, sponsored by Jose “Pepe” Diaz, calls for the mayor’s office to coordinate with FIU, the Florida Board of Governors and the Florida Legislature on efforts to establish a veterinary college.
MULTI-USE URBAN TRAIL: Miami leaders agreed to buy part of a former railroad right-of-way for the eventual development of an urban trail. Commissioners directed the city manager to negotiate a grant or purchase agreement with Florida East Coast Railway Co. to acquire the right- of-way between West Flagler Street and Southwest Eighth Street between Southwest 69th and 70th avenues. Commissioners agreed to “an initial contribution” not to exceed $1 million “to assist in the creation of the proposed Ludlam Trail,” a proposed multi-use urban trail that Miami-Dade County is exploring.