FYI Miami: December 3, 2015
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
MODERATE CONSUMER PRICE RISE: Consumer prices in South Florida rose 1.1% in the year ended Oct. 31, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Hidden deep in the report was the 30% gasoline price fall that held down overall price gains. The largest percentage gains year over year were a 6.3% increase for medical costs and 5.9% rise for residential rents. Total housing costs rose 3.6%, including those rent hikes. Another large decline was the 4.1% drop in electricity costs in South Florida. The cost of food and beverages rose 2.5% in the 12 months, clothing costs rose six-tenths of a percentage point and education and communication costs rose 1.2%. Recreational costs in the region fell two-tenths of one percent.
BOOSTING HOME OWNERSHIP: County commissioners passed legislation to use Miami-Dade documentary surtax funds to establish a homebuyer loan program that could provide up to $100,000 in loans to eligible residents. The homebuyer loan program is designed to assist low- to moderate-income residents, whose household income is up to 140% of the area median income. For a single-person household, that’s about $69,000. The homebuyer loan program, which will be administered by the county’s Department of Public Housing and Community Development, targets specific areas, but is available for use in any part of Miami-Dade. It provides incentives for young professionals to establish permanent residence in the county. The second mortgages have a 2% fixed interest rate for properties anywhere in Miami-Dade and an even lower 1% in selected neighborhoods.
FIXING SLIDES: Three companies have been lined up for repairs at City of Miami park playgrounds. The Department of Procurement recommended awarding work to bidders Chopper Construction Corp. (primary), Leadex Corp. (secondary), and PlaySpace Services Inc. (tertiary). Funds will be allocated from the Department of Parks and Recreation for a contract period of five years. The estimated annual contract cost is $180,000, for a total of $900,000 over the five-year contract.
BETTER CONNECTION: Florida Power and Light Co. plans electrical improvements to the City of Miami’s Hadley Park Youth Center at 1300 NW 50th St. City commissioners approved a perpetual, non-exclusive 10-foot wide easement of 3,308 square feet of city-owned property. The easement will be used to construct, operate and maintain an underground electric utility facility.