FYI Miami: October 31, 2019
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5G AUTHORITY OVERTURN URGED: Citing a “free-for-all among multiple competing telecommunications providers” whose haphazard installation of fifth-generation wireless technology (5G) “deteriorates the aesthetics of urban space,” Miami-Dade commissioners Tuesday urged Florida legislators to repeal a state law that preempts local government regulation of 5G infrastructure. Lawmakers in Tallahassee since 2017 have passed bills that significantly limit local governments’ say in where and how many 5G poles and small cell antennas can be installed throughout the state. The result is dozens of telecom companies operating “with little regard to the disruption their work imposes on the businesses and residents” that use public rights-of-way, where most the 5G equipment is being installed, an item sponsored by Eileen Higgins and co-sponsored by Joe Martinez and Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson says. Those companies have recently ramped up installation efforts ahead of Super Bowl LIV, to be held at Hard Rock Stadium. “Rather than preempting local authority on a matter that so significantly affects the aesthetics of each of Florida’s diverse communities,” the item says, “the Florida Legislature should instead preserve and expand local authority to determine the design and overall aesthetic o the public rights-of-way and other public spaces that each local government is responsible for managing.”
FALL DELAYS STADIUM TALKS: What was expected to be a fateful day for the Miami Freedom Park project was derailed after Commissioner Manolo Reyes had a fall at last week’s Miami City Commission meeting. Mr. Reyes, who has been an outspoken critic of the proposed lease agreement with Freedom Park LLC, had demanded the administration present a contract for the Oct. 24 meeting before the November elections. The commission now has agreed to defer the items to a special meeting at 9 a.m. Nov. 12. Pushed to that meeting are the tentative contract, an item to cease negotiations with Miami Freedom Park LLC, and a discussion of the ongoing negotiations. The billion-dollar Miami Freedom Park would bring a 25,000-seat stadium for a Major League Soccer team beside office spaces, retail and more to city-owned Melreese Park.
GAS PRICES FALLING: Gasoline prices in Miami have dipped to an average of $2.42 per gallon, 33 cents a gallon less than a year ago’s $2.75 and 4.3 cents a gallon less than a week ago, according to GasBuddy price-tracking service. The lowest-priced station in Miami was selling gasoline at $1.97 per gallon this week, the service reported. Nationally, the average price is $2.58 per gallon, down from $2.704 per gallon a year ago, GasBuddy said.