FYI Miami: August 22, 2019
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CRIME DIPS: Total serious crimes decreased slightly in the first seven months of the year in the area patrolled by Miami-Dade County Police, dropping 0.7% from 22,110 crime reports in the first seven months last year to 22,094 this year, the latest figures released by the county show. Homicides decreased 2%, from 50 to 49. But other crime categories showed major increases, with forcible sex offenses up nearly 19% to 452 incidents, robberies up more than 11% at 779 and aggravated assaults up 6.6% at 2,224. Burglaries declined nearly 16% to 1,678. The most common crime category was larceny, up a fraction of a percent at 15,066 in the seven months. The figures do not include reports to municipal police departments.
CHARGING LESS: South Florida consumers paid 13.6% less in July for electricity than consumers nationwide, a new report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. A year earlier South Florida prices for electricity were 15.1% less than the national average. The cost here per kilowatt hour this July was 12.1 cents, versus 14 cents nationally. A year earlier the cost here was 11.8 cents compared with 13.9 cents nationally, the bureau reported.
MELREESE GOLF COURSE CLOSED: Miami City Manager Emilio Gonzalez issued a statement Tuesday that Melreese Golf Course was closed to allow outside experts to analyze results of samplings of soil contamination. In his own statement, Mayor Francis Suarez said that for the safety and health of the residents, the city will immediately review the findings and determine if the city-owned park should remain closed. A proposed long-term lease of the site could see David Beckham’s Miami Freedom Park LLC transform the course to a massive development that would feature a 25,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium, retail and entertainment space, offices and more. Neither course managers nor Mr. Gonzalez were available for interviews.
INTERESTING TIMES: Miami-Dade County “continues to benefit from a low interest rate environment” as it received true interest costs of just 2.65% and 2.63% on two bond issues that are to close Aug. 28, a memo from Mayor Carlos Giménez to commissioners reported last week. Net present value of savings on one of the two bond series, a refinancing, was $17.9 million on $96.9 million in refunding bonds that will now mature April 1, 2040. Winning bidders to handle that bond sale was J.P. Morgan. Morgan Stanley will handle the other sale, $161.6 million in Capital Asset Acquisition special obligation bonds. The sales were competitive.