FYI Miami: April 20, 2017
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.
ELECTRIC COST ADVANTAGE NARROWS: Miami-area households paid an average of 11.9 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity in March, up from 11.3 cents in March 2016, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. That increase still left the area paying an average of 11.2% less for electricity than residents of the nation as a whole, though the gap decreased markedly from the 15.7% advantage that Miami area customers had enjoyed over the rest of the nation a year earlier. Still, the federal agency reported, the cost of electricity in Miami has been at least 10% below the US average for each of the past five years.
FRUSTRATED WITH FLAGLER: After hearing from a parade of unhappy property and business owners about delays in the Flagler Street beautification and reconstruction project, City of Miami commissioners last week approved a memorandum of understanding with the Downtown Development Authority that calls for more authority involvement in the project and additional oversight and management. The resolution says, “…the DDA and the city believe that the timeliness of the project, the minimization of disruption to Flagler Street property and business owners, and communication with the stakeholders will be enhanced through greater participation by the DDA, including participation in meetings and contacts with contractors, field visits, and constant public informational outreach.” Commissioners also approved waiving sidewalk café permit fees assessed as part of the project, “until the substantial completion of the project,” for downtown Miami sidewalk cafés on or near Flagler Street.
RESTRICTING PLASTIC BAGS: Miami city commissioners have taken the first step toward restrictions on disposable plastic shopping bags. Commissioners approved a resolution urging Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature to repeal part of a state statute intended to prohibit local governments from regulating plastic bags. It would clear the way for cities to regulate the use of the prolific bags. Miami’s move comes a month after Coral Gables commissioners on first reading voted to prohibit carry-out plastic bags from stores within the Gables and by anyone holding a city special events permit. Coral Gables has also passed an ordinance to regulate the use of polystyrene. Miami’s resolution says that replacing disposable plastic shopping bags with reusable bags is considered a quick and easy way to reduce waste and litter, protect wildlife and conserve resources.