FYI Miami: October 28, 2021
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.
COUNTY STAGING SHOWS: Miami-Dade County commissioners have unanimously waived competitive bidding for $11.4 million in professional entertainment artist services, allowing payments of up to $125,000 per performance to be spent over the next three years by county administrators to program public presentations in county facilities. The cultural affairs department under long-time Director Michael Spring was authorized to spend $10.354 million to program the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, the Joseph Caleb Auditorium, Miami-Dade County Auditorium and the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, plus fund its discounted ticketing program for high school and college students. The spending rose from the past, based in part on a forecasted increase in entertainment activities and the re-opening of the Caleb Auditorium upon completion of its expansion. In addition, the parks department is to get $285,000, the Aviation Department $270,000 and the library system $480,000.
FPL GETS RATE HIKES: State utility regulators Tuesday approved base-rate increases for Florida Power & Light that will result in higher monthly bills for customers in January. Despite opponents’ arguments that residential and small business customers will end up subsidizing costs for some larger customers, the Public Service Commission unanimously supported a four-year rate settlement that calls for a $692 million increase in base rates in January and another increase of $560 million in 2023. More increases are planned in 2024 and 2025 to pay for solar projects.
BUILDING NOTIFICATION: An ordinance proposed by Jose “Pepe” Diaz would require any building official exercising the emergency authority to vacate a residential structure to immediately notify the county’s Office of Emergency Management. The aim is to improve coordination between the county and municipalities so the county can help displaced residents while engineering reports and other building assessments and repairs are completed to assure structural integrity. After the Champlain South Tower collapse, many jurisdictions countywide started reviews of structures, and in some cases they had to ask residents to vacate buildings. If approved in a second reading, the legislation would improve coordination of first responder and human services assistance for those displaced through agencies such as the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the Homeless Trust, and the Red Cross.
GAS STILL RISING: Miami gas prices have risen 9.4 cents per gallon in the past week to now average $3.32, according to GasBuddy’s price tracking. Gas in Miami is 23.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and $1.23 higher than a year ago.