Miami Beach Community Center To Get 6 Million Windfall From Bond
By Suzy Valentine
A project in Miami Beach is to receive a $6 million advance from a surplus generated by the Miami-Dade County General Obligation Bond sale in July.
Favorable interest rates led to the release of $265 million raised by the bond issue, $15 million more than anticipated. After costs, that leaves an additional unallocated $13.6 million – $6 million of which is to go toward acquisition of land to house the Miami Beach South Shore Community Center.
The 21-member Citizens Advisory Committee, created to review the county’s $2.9 billion General Obligation Bond fund allocation, approved the project for accelerated funds last month.
The body is to meet in the middle of this month to consider projects that could benefit from the remaining $7.6 million surplus generated as a result of the July 7 sale.
Recommendations are to go to the General Obligation Bond Program Subcommittee, which is expected to meet at the end of the month, ahead of the county commission’s meeting slated for Dec. 6.
"The advisory committee’s probably not going to happen for a couple of weeks," said Roger Hernstadt, county capital-improvements coordinator. "A lot of meetings are going to slide as a result of Hurricane Wilma. We’re adjusting a bunch of dates, but we hope to meet mid-month. Then the plan is for the subcommittee to convene before Thanksgiving so it can make a recommendation to the committee on accelerating the release of $13.6 million by the end of the month."
The land acquisition for the community center is typical of the projects Mr. Hernstadt said are likely to benefit from the surplus.
"We have a couple of things in mind," he said. "Any land acquisition where we have a piece of land that we had planned to acquire from 2006 through 2008, we may try to close the deal. That makes financial sense."
Mr. Hernstadt explained the rationale used to select expedited projects.
"Anything where we can leverage funding is suitable," he said, "and beyond that anything that can be accelerated because the project is moving forward makes sense."
In the meantime, Mr. Hernstadt said, funding for the community center appears certain.
"It’s been to the advisory committee and the body approved it," he said. "There are some legal issues to be worked out between the seller and the community center."