FYI Miami: December 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.
FPL CONTRACTS ON THE LINE: When approving a county contract with FPL to save the county millions in energy conservation equipment at county airports, Commissioner Bruno Barreiro reminded the commission last week of its commitment to have FPL move power lines underground. “I want to send a message to FPL. We want to work with you, but it behooves you to work with us to underground our power lines,” he said. After Hurricane Irma, the commission voted to urge FPL to put power lines underground to prevent major power outages during storms. If FPL fails to put power lines underground, other items may be pushed aside, Mr. Barreiro said. “I would hate to see all of these items become non-negotiable because [FPL] doesn’t want to work with us.”
SKY’S THE LIMIT: With a week’s warning as a projected Category 5 Hurricane Irma bore down on Miami in September and lowland evacuations ordered, some airlines sent the price of tickets soaring – $3,000 to Phoenix, $6,000 to Denver, $1,700 to Charlotte – says legislation before a county committee today (12/14) calling for a Federal Aviation Administration investigation into price-gouging in an emergency. The resolution by Jose “Pepe” Diaz also calls on the mayor to work with airlines at Miami International Airport to ask them to price seats appropriately and provide appropriate serve levels in emergencies. On the other hand, the measure also notes approvingly that while some airlines reportedly jacked prices skyward, “American Airlines and Delta Airlines added additional flights… to provide additional capacity for persons seeking to evacuate Hurricane Irma.”
UP IN THE AIR: A status report on negotiations with online vacation rental booking platforms for payment of the Tourist Development Room Tax, Professional Sports Franchise Facility Tax and Convention Development Taxes would be required from Mayor Carlos Giménez with 30 days under a resolution that a commission committee is considering today (12/14). The commission in April approved a memorandum of understanding between the tax collector and industry leader Airbnb Inc., says the resolution by Sally Heyman, but commissioners aren’t clear whether agreements have yet been negotiated with other firms.
SAVE WATER TOGETHER: The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department and the county’s Office of Resiliency would coordinate efforts to “create educational materials for consumers that focus on how water conservation can help prevent the advancement of saltwater intrusion” into the Biscayne Aquifer under a proposal that county Commissioner Rebeca Sosa has on the table for action today (12/14) by the county’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee.