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DREDGING COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
June 22 , 2007
(THIS IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT)
The Miami River Commission's (MRC) Dredging Working Group met on Friday, June 22, 2007 , 10 AM , at a new one time location, the United Way Executive Conference Room, 3250 SW 3 rd Avenue , MRC Chair Eric Buermann chaired the meeting. The attendance list is enclosed.
I & II. Status of Miami River Federal Navigable Channel Maintenance Dredging Project & Funding and Status of “Bank to Bank” Maintenance Dredging Project & Funding – Mr. Brett Bibeau, MRC Managing Director, noted Mr. Sean McGraw, Weston Solutions, requested that MRC staff revise pages 4 and 5 (V. New Business) of the May 16, 2007 meeting minutes as followed: Page 4 “Mr. Kelly noted the Joint-Venture has submitted a claim to the ACOE due to increased sediments/rock found in AS 1-6. Page 5 “Mr. Buermann asked if the time extension would include an increased cost per cubic yard, and Mr. Kelly replied the time extension amendment to their existing contract may also include an increased cost per cubic yard removed.” The DSC approved the revised minutes.
Mr. Dorian Valdes, Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM), noted Mr. Carlos Espinosa, Director of DERM, was unable to attend today's meeting due to a previously scheduled appointment with the County Manager . Mr. Valdes noted he had recently spoken to Mr. Rene Perez, Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), whom stated that he had provided Mr. Brett Bibeau, MRC Managing Director, with an update. Mr. Bibeau noted Mr. Perez had reported that the ACOE contracting division had award dredging in the projects acceptance sections 7 & 8 on may 24, 2007, using the currently available $7 million federal cost share, which consists of the remaining $3.5 million appropriation from Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 and the $3.5 million included in the FY '07 CR. Mr. Bibeau noted that, considering this reported information, a Notice to Proceed (NTP) would be issued between 1-30 days, and the contractors would then have 60 additional days for remobilization from issuance of the NTP.
Mr. Bibeau stated that, according to Mr. Perez, the contractors had recently met with ACOE representatives to request an extension in the timeline of the Miami River Maintenance Dredging project, noting two reasons:
Mr. Bibeau noted the ACOE had not indicated if they would grant the contractors the requested extension. Mr. Buermann asked Mr. Bibeau to request that the ACOE minimize delays as much as possible. Mr. Bibeau distributed the “Miami River Maintenance Dredging completion estimated timeline as of June 7, 2007 , subject to change, based on an estimate of 1,400 cubic yards per day, prepared by the Miami River Commission.” The DSC discussed several milestones in the estimated timeline, including:
Mr. Buermann asked if the adoption of the CFA looked promising, and Mr. Valdes replied there shouldn't be a problem. Mr. Bibeau stated Mr. Perez had noted that ACOE Headquarters had submitted several inquiries regarding the “Local Advanced Funding (LAF) Agreement.” Mr. Perez stated he had provided the additional information requested by ACOE Headquarters related to the LAF, and believes they have all of the information necessary to approve the agreement. Mr. Bibeau noted that the LAF needed to be executed by January 2008 in order to avoid demobilization.
Mr. Bibeau noted MRC staff has recently launched its annual Miami River Dredging support letter campaign. Mr. Bibeau noted draft dredging support letters respectfully requesting the federal cost-share balance due (FY '07 & FY'08), addressed to the Honorable Senator Nelson, Honorable Senator Martinez, Honorable Senate Energy and Water Chair and Ranking Members Dorgan and Dominici, Honorable House Energy and Water Chair and Ranking Members Visclosky and Hobson, Honorable Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Honorable Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Honorable Rep. Kendrick Meek, Honorable Rep. Mario Diaz Balart, Honorable Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, General Strock and OMB Director Portman, were provided to staff of the County Commissioners, City Commissioners, the South Florida Water Management District, marine industrial businesses and the GMCC. Mr. Bibeau noted that additional letters addressed to Antwerp and Schroedel had been provided to Honorable Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. Mr. Bibeau thanked everyone for their continued efforts.
Mr. Bibeau distributed an updated “Miami River Maintenance Dredging Project Funding” summary. Mr. Bibeau noted he had removed the final demobilization line item from last month's summary. The DSC reviewed and discussed the June 11, 2007 summary, noting several items:
Total Available “Local Advanced Funding”=$7,249,108
Total Available “Contributed Funding” (towards the federal cost share) = $5 million
Estimated Federal FY'08 appropriation=$7 million
The DSC noted the Miami River Maintenance Dredging project is approximately $9 million shy of completion. Mr. Bibeau asked that Mr. Valdes request $5 million from the County. Mr. Bibeau noted Miami-Dade County Chairman Bruno Barreiro and Mr. Robert Villar , Office of Mayor Carlos Alvarez , are supportive of including $3 million in the County's FY'08 budget for contributed funds. Mr. Buermann noted he would request an additional $3 million from the South Florida Water Management District.
Mr. Bibeau noted $367 million has been included in the President's FY'08 budget for South Atlantic Division O & M projects, and noted the Miami River 's ability to potentially receive some of this funding.
Mr. Hector Rodriguez , Florida Department of Transportation, asked if the dredging contractors would be entitled to any claims, and Mr. Bibeau replied that decision would be up to discretion of the ACOE.
Mr. Bibeau asked Mr. Skornick for the status of the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) grants. Mr. Skornick provided the following update:
Chair Buermann asked if the FIND dollars could be the first funds expended when the contractors recommence dredging, and Mr. Skornick replied FIND would possibly willing to accommodate this request
Mr. Skornick reviewed the FIND cost-shares included in the “Miami River Maintenance Dredging Project Funding” summary, and noted the FY'06 and FY'07 grant line items should be amended to $1.5 million and over $2 million respectively. Mr. Skornick suggested that Mr. Bibeau include an additional line item: FY'04=$680,000. Mr. Skornick agreed to provide the exact FIND grant amounts and the expended FIND cost-share to Mr. Bibeau prior to the July DSC meeting.
Mr. Bibeau distributed DSC meeting minutes of December 20, 2006 and February 21, 2007 . Mr. Bibeau noted that on December 20, 2006 , he had provided Mr. Ray Baker, DERM, a list of 6 federal grant opportunities, which the County was eligible to apply for to obtain a federal cost-share for the bank-to-bank dredging component located outside of the federal navigable channel. Mr. Bibeau noted Mr. Baker had stated at the meeting the county's willingness to evaluate the grant opportunities and apply to any that appeared to be viable. Mr. Bibeau cited the meeting minutes of February 21, 2007 , in which Mr. Baker stated that the County had agreed to the MRC's recommendation to apply for an “EDA” grant for to obtain a federal cost-share for the bank-to-bank dredging component located outside of the federal navigable channel. Mr. Bibeau noted that Mr. Baker has since resigned from DERM, and distributed a list of former and new potential federal environmental grant opportunities, including FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant program. Mr. Bibeau provided Mr. Valdes a CD of the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration grant (included in the MRC grant list). Mr. Valdes noted DERM has a specific individual on staff that researches grant opportunities, and agreed to discuss and coordinate DERM's application for the EDA grant with this person.
III. Update River Utility Crossings – The dredging subcommittee noted the ACOE's request for utilities to be relocated deeper beneath the federal navigable channel in preparation for dredging is continuing on schedule.
IV. Status of Removal of NW 5 th Street Bridge Prior to Dredging within that Acceptance Section – Mr. Hector Rodriguez , Florida Department of Transportation, noted all waterway obstructions have been removed, including the fender system and bridge foundation. Mr. Rodriguez noted that two single piles located at -17 depth could not be removed. Per Mr. Valdes' request, Mr. Rodriguez agreed to forward those locations.
Mr. Rodriguez noted the river would be temporarily shut down for a low-lift operation on August 7 for three consecutive days, and tentatively for three more days in August 2008. Mr. Rodriguez asked which Acceptance Section included the NW 12 th Avenue Bridge, and Mr. Bibeau replied AS 9. Mr. Rodriguez noted the 12 th Ave. Bridge contractors are currently utilizing the north bank area adjacent to the NW 5 th Street Bridge as a staging site.
V. New Business – The following items were addressed/discussed:
The Dredging subcommittee confirmed the next meeting for July 18, 2007 , 10 am .The meeting adjourned.