FYI Miami: September 14, 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.
COUNTY NEGOTIATES UBER FEE: Uber racked up a few million dollars in fees from operating illegally within Miami-Dade for years. Though county Budget Director Jennifer Moon said at the last commission meeting that the county was still negotiating the amount Uber owes, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa said Uber needs to pay up. “When a resident gets a citation, the county doesn’t negotiate with those hard-working people. Uber has to pay the millions they owe,” Ms. Sosa said. When Mayor Carlos Giménez offered to respond, Ms. Sosa said, “I do not expect an immediate answer, but I encourage you to send that message so we can use that money for priority issues in our budget.” Mayor Giménez has previously said that he hopes the county obtains a sizable percentage of the fines as a settlement.
INCORPORATION HURDLE: County Commissioner Joe Martinez is seeking to prevent creation of committees studying incorporation of areas of Miami-Dade without approval of at least 20% of the electors residing in each area to be studied. His legislation seeking to stall incorporations notes that two West Kendall study groups, called Municipal Advisory Committees, had been set up to study incorporations in his commission district but were later disbanded. His predecessor, Juan Zapata, had pushed for the creation of those advisory groups. A public hearing would be held at least six weeks after a first commission vote on the proposed ordinance.
SOCCER DEAL A PIPE DREAM: Last year the Miami-Dade County Commission voted to direct 25% of all profits from the sale of county-owned property to the affordable housing trust fund. At its last meeting, Commissioner Xavier Suárez asked if the $9 million property the county is to sell to Miami Beckham United to construct the Major League Soccer stadium would go to the fund. The Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department owns the 2.79-acre property and it falls under its trust agreement, the budget department said. If the sale is completed, the most recent legislation from July “directs the proceeds of the sale to be deposited in WASD’s [fund],” and it would not benefit the affordable housing trust.
CASHLESS CHALLENGE HEADED HERE?: Visa Cashless Challenge merchants, which are selected by Visa Inc. and offered thousands of dollars to upgrade their payment technology, so long as they stop accepting cash from other customers, may make its way to Miami this November, according to Andy Gerlt, a spokesperson from Visa Inc. “Our Visa Cashless Challenge merchants will be announced at the end of 2017 (November timeframe) so we don’t have any business names to share yet,” he said.