FYI Miami: June 6, 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.
$5 BILLION FOR AVIATION: Preliminary paperwork for Miami-Dade Aviation’s up to $5 billion, 15-year capital improvements program cleared the county’s lawmaking body this week. Commissioners Tuesday accepted a report from Mayor Carlos Giménez’s office highlighting the proposed program’s five sub-programs focusing on Miami International Airport. According to figures Aviation Director Lester Sola gave to commissioners in committee last month, the airport last year reached an all-time high of over 45 million passengers served, ranking it third-busiest in the nation, and set a record for international flight. It’s also the No. 1 hub for international air trade, carrying over two-thirds of all US air cargo. By 2040, annual exports are projected to double to 4.8 million tons and total yearly aircraft operations are expected to climb from 418,000 today to 646,000. Planned improvements include renovations to the north, central and south terminals, two new on-site hotels and an expansion to the airport’s cargo facilities, plus to-be-determined upgrades to the county’s four smaller airports.
CONSTRUCTION KEEPS SLOWING: The total value of construction starts in South Florida fell 16% in April, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, a slower rate of decline than the first four months of the year as a whole, which saw a 31% value decline for construction. The total value of new starts in April 2018 was $1.089 billion, which declined to $911 million this April. Residential starts fell 27% in value, exactly matching their rate of decline for the year as a whole. Nonresidential starts, a smaller component of the total, actually rose in April by 2%, leaving them down 36% for the year. The total value of all construction starts in the first four months was almost $5 billion in 2018 but just $3.4 billion this year.
COURT BATTLE ON CONSERVATION: The 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments July 16 in a long-running battle about whether state lawmakers properly carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment that required spending on land and water conservation. The Tallahassee-based appeals court issued a two-page notice Tuesday scheduling the arguments. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson last year ruled that lawmakers had failed to properly comply with the voter-approved constitutional amendment, which required using money from a real-estate tax to bolster land and water conservation. Environmental groups contended that lawmakers improperly diverted portions of the money to other expenses. Attorneys for the House and Senate appealed, arguing, in part, that Judge Dodson’s ruling would infringe on the Legislature’s authority to set spending priorities.