g.o. bond ready to go

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

g.o. bond ready to go:

Nearly $150 million in projects to be funded in first round

City staff, a citizens’ oversight panel, and now the Commission have weighed in on the prioritization of the 57 projects approved by Miami Beach voters in a $439 million General Obligation Bond. The bonds will be spread out in four phases over 12 years. At its meeting this week, Commissioners will vote to issue the first tranche of approximately $150 million. 
Karen Rivo, Chair of the GO Bond Oversight Committee, said at a Commission workshop this week that the Committee agreed with the Staff recommendations for prioritization with one exception: They moved Fire Station #1 up in the queue and pushed funding of the restoration of the North Beach log cabin into tranche two. Rivo said, “We prioritized safety… safety was, truly I would say, our number one.” With that in mind, the Committee put the new fire station into the first tranche. That project, located in the heart of South Beach, has created some angst within the neighborhood over where it will be located. At the workshop, Mayor Dan Gelber reminded the audience the GO Bond itself was “not a decision on where Fire Station 1 is, this only says there will be a fire station.”
Rivo said the Oversight Committee agreed with the $40 million of projects that are considered “quick wins” and can be completed over a 12 to 14 month period. Seven of them are on the Commission agenda for a jumpstart this week via an amendment to the capital budget with funding coming from the bonds once they are issued. They include:
  1. Public safety radio system to replace the current one which has reached the end of its useful life. It will be used by police, fire, public safety officers, and other agencies, when responding to emergency calls or in the field. ($10 million)
  2. Security for public spaces: Includes the installation of protective bollard systems to safeguard pedestrians and special event venues at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive, SoundScape Park, and South Pointe Park. ($600,000)
  3. License plate readers: Installation of license plate readers at 26 strategic locations throughout the City. The current program has been highly successful in crime detection. ($480,000)
  4. Middle Beach Beachwalk: Construction of an on-grade pedestrian walkway and demolition of the existing wooden boardwalk between 23rd and 46th Streets. ($4.5 million)
  5. Roof replacement for cultural facilities: Fillmore Theater, Miami City Ballet, and Colony Theater. ($2.98 million)
  6. Polo Park: Baseball field renovations ($500,000)
  7. Security cameras in the entertainment district: 72 additional security cameras to supplement the existing 14 cameras within the Entertainment District. Two cameras will be installed at every intersection on Collins and Washington Avenues from 5th to 17th Streets. ($700,000)
Rivo said the Committee “struggled a little” with the idea of using bonds to fund sidewalk repairs and street paving as this bond does and urged the City to come up with a plan to take care of the City’s assets without having to use future GO Bonds in this manner.
Commissioners at the workshop asked the Administration to review an option to move renovation of the Marine Safety Facility at Maurice Gibb Park up from low priority to high priority to coincide with the upcoming renovation of the park to not disrupt the area twice. That will be discussed further at this week’s Commission meeting.
The first tranche of the bonds was approved by the Commission last month on first reading with second reading this week. The bonds are expected to be issued in late April. The Oversight Committee will continue its work reviewing timelines and costs once the bonds are issued. 
Click here, scroll to the bottom and click the March link, then March 4th for the recording of the Commission Workshop and supporting documents on the overall list of projects and priorities. Sorry, folks! No direct links. That's the way the website works!

It's Here: Spring Break 2019

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Next 30 days is high impact period

Renewal of City Manager's Contract Agreed to in Principle

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Minimum three years, up to four on the table