FYI Miami: January 31, 2019
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.
MANGROVE REPLACEMENT: A section of Mangroves lost to a wayward contractor armed with a saw will be replaced on Virginia Key and afforded special protection. Miami city commissioners approved a resolution Jan. 24 calling for the preservation and management of the trees. It was in May 2015, as the city was preparing the land and water around idled Marine Stadium to host the Miami International Boat Show, that contractors hired by the city mistakenly cut down mangroves, an illegal move without a permit. The new resolution authorizes the city manager to execute a restrictive covenant running with the land, in favor of Miami-Dade County, pursuant to a 2016 consent agreement between the county and city. It’s part of the city’s requisite approval from the county, for the city’s capital improvement project to restore the stadium, concerning the planting of mangroves in a designated “mitigation area” for preservation and management at the stadium property, in accordance with a Class I permit.
IRMA FUNDS STILL AWAITED: Coral Gables currently has 56 claims of eligible expenditures worth about $22 million resulting from damage by Hurricane Irma. The city is still awaiting reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), insurance companies and the state of Florida. According to the city, about $17 million is due from FEMA, $1.5 million from the state and $2 million in insurance payments. About $1.5 million is the city’s responsibility, including tasks such as replanting trees and straightening leaning trees, which is funded through year-end surpluses. The city is still in a “back and forth” with FEMA as the agency requests additional documentation from the Gables.
MUTUAL AIR AID: Airports in the Florida Keys may receive better and faster help recovering and resuming operations after being hit by hurricanes from their neighbor to the north – and vice versa – as Miami-Dade commissioners are one step from authorizing a mutual aid agreement with Monroe County to improve and accelerate emergency rehab efforts at aviation facilities. Commissioners at an Economic Development and Tourism Committee Jan. 17 voted 4-0 to forward the item, sponsored by Rebeca Sosa, to a full commission vote. The agreement, if OK’d, would still require approval from commissioners case by case but in concept should expedite the counties’ sending experts, equipment and supplies when needed, according to Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt, who wrote that any materials or services provided by one county to the other would be given on a cost basis unless loaned, in which case they are to be “returned in the same condition.”