ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
DEC. 11, 2001
(THIS IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT)
The Miami River Commission’s Economic Development and Commerce (EDC) Working Group met at 3:00 PM, Tuesday, December 11, 2001, at the Rosenstiel School, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway. Megan Kelly chaired the meeting. Cleve Jones Jr., Jones Boatyard, Dr. Fran Bohnsack, Miami River Marine Group, Steve Carter, Miami River corridor resident David Miller and Brett Bibeau, Miami River Commission, attended the meeting.
Megan Kelly reminded the EDC that the
Miami River Commission (MRC) would determine their official position
regarding the proposed Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) and all proposed
river crossings to it. Kelly
referenced a front page article in the December 11, Daily Business
Review stating the MIC project has paused because they are still in need
of funding for the light rail connector between the MIC and Miami
International Airport terminal. The
EDC discussed their position regarding the entire MIC project and
additional options for its river crossings.
Dr. Bohnsack stated she spoke with City Commissioner and
Metropolitan Planning Organization Board member Arthur Teele, who feels
the security of the MIC concept with transferring luggage between the
MIC and Terminals should be re-examined.
Bibeau stated on November 28, 2001 he attended an Earlington
Heights Metro-Rail Connector Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting.
Bibeau reminded the EDC that on November 15, 2001, Larry Foutz
told the MRC that a tunnel beneath the Miami River was a feasible
alternative for linking the MIC with Metro-Rail, during the Nov. 28 CAC
meeting Foutz stated the tunnel was not feasible.
Foutz explained to the CAC that at a Earlington Heights
Metro-rail Connector Technical Advisory Committee a Miami-Dade Transit
Authority staffer stated the necessary 1% grade waiver may be denied.
Dr. Bohnsack stated if any agency attempts to shorten the Federal
Navigable Channel, she would advise the shipping industry to retain an
attorney to defend maintaining the current length of the Channel.
Dr. Bohnsack stated the historic Miami River Rapids area would be
impacted by the Earlington-Heights Metro-Rail connector 27th
Ave route option. Bibeau
stated the City Commission designated Miami River Rapids Park a Historic
site in 1990. The EDC agreed that if the Federal Navigable Channel is
shortened, the Marine industry should be mitigated for their loss.
An example of mitigation is increased Marine Industrial Zoning.
Jones stated there are several existing buildings near the
airport, such as the Embassy Suites, which are taller that the 45 foot
MDX bridge, and questions if the glide path requires the bridge to be
less than 75 feet, shortening of the Federal Navigable Channel.
Bibeau stated the MRC requested the rules and regulations
regarding setbacks from the proposed Metro-Rail extension, and use of
the Right of Way beneath the line, over a month ago, and still have not
received the information. Jones
stated Bibeau made a good point, because those rules and regulations are
a critical component of this issue. Bibeau read the EDC’s two existing
resolutions regarding this issue into the record, “The EDC unanimously
recommended achieving MIC access without adversely effecting the
“working river” and “Since a tunnel is the only river-crossing
alternative providing continuous flow of both marine and vehicular
traffic, the EDC unanimously recommends the proposed tunnel provide MIC
access for all transit connectors crossing the Miami River.”
The EDC unanimously passed the following new motions:
Megan Kelly directed MRC staff to
review all Environmental Impact Statements related to the MIC and its
numerous River crossings.
Jones asked about the status of
obtaining a Miami River Clean-up vessel.
Bibeau stated the MRC has authorized him to submit a Florida
Inland Navigational District grant application, which is due in April
2002, to fund the Clean-up vessel.
Jones stated he was glad to hear that because every time the
salinity dam is opened it looks like a “styrofoam parade”.
Bibeau provided the EDC with
bullet points regarding the MRC’s evidence that the entire Miami River
corridor is eligible for the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB)
Zone. The MRC will be working towards getting the entire Miami
River corridor properly designated as a HUB zone.
At the request of the EDC, Bibeau
stated he attended a meeting of the Miami-Dade County Boat docking and
Boat Storage Facilities Advisory Committee.
The Committee Chair, Spencer Meredith, stated the advisory
committee would be reviewing the 22 conditions within the Marine
Operator Permit. Bibeau stated he would continue to monitor the advisory
committees work, and report back to the EDC.
The next EDC meeting was scheduled, as usual for the second Tuesday of the month, January 8, 2002, 3 pm, Rosenstiel School, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway. The meeting was adjourned.