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GENERAL COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
Mr. Philip Everingham, Vice Chair of the Miami River Commission (MRC), led the meeting which started at noon, Monday, May 7, 2007, Robert King High, New Board Room, 1407 NW 7 ST, Miami, Florida.
Miami River Commission Policy Committee members
attending interested in the River:
MRC Chairperson Report:
Chair Everingham introduced Ms. Dany Berthold-Moise, Miami-Dade County
Outreach Supervisor, whom had requested to present an appreciation
plaque to Mr. Brett Bibeau, MRC Managing Director, and the MRC, on
behalf of Team Metro Melrose and
the Department of Solid Waste Management for support of the 9th
Annual Pride Week celebration. Ms.
Berthold-Moise thanked the MRC for providing a free Miami River boat
tour to Team Metro to help increase awareness along the Miami River, and
noted that on Tuesday, April 24, 2007, nearly 100 volunteers
participated in the Team Metro “Triangle Cleanup,” removing litter
and debris between Northwest 39th St & Northwest
26th St., from
Chair Everingham noted MRC staff had emailed and distributed copies of
the “Statement of Financial Interests” or Financial Disclosure forms
to all MRC members and designees, which must be submitted to the
Commission on Ethics.
behalf of the MRC, Vice Chair Everingham thanked the FL Legislature,
because the River had a tremendously successful legislative session.
The Legislature appropriated the
Chair Everingham stated the MRC coordinated and sponsored three
volunteer River beautification projects last month:
Saturday, April 21, 25 students planted 19 new trees at Robert
King High, and 15 UM volunteers removed litter and weeds while spreading
50 bags of mulch in the on-road greenway along
Everingham stated Irela Bagué had successfully chaired the MRC since
September 2004, and served as an MRC board member since being appointed
as the designee for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).
Vice Chair Everingham added Ms. Bagué was appointed to the SFWMD
by former Governor Bush, and her positive term expired in March 2007.
Since 1998, the SFWMD has appointed their Miami-Dade Governing
Board member to serve as their MRC designee, and consistent with that
precedent on April 12, they named Governor Crist’s recently appointed
SFWMD Miami-Dade Governing Board member,
Vice Chair Everingham noted all MRC members received numerous notices regarding the first item on the agenda, election of the new chair. Vice Chair Everingham explained that MRC members or designees are eligible to nominate another MRC member or designee to Chair the MRC. If there is more than one nomination, an “open vote” election will be held, and simple majority will become the new MRC Chair, as outlined in the procedures of the Sunshine Law. At this time, Vice Chair Everingham entertained nominations for MRC Chair.
thanked all MRC board members for their support, and praised former
Chair Irela Bagué for her outstanding leadership.
Mr. Buermann stated completion of the Miami River Maintenance
Dredging project remains a major priority, yet would request the
assistance of his fellow board members and MRC staff to keep him on
track regarding other river-related issues. Mr.
Buermann noted MRC staff, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the
entire Delegation have been wonderful to work with, and he looked
forward to strengthening all partnerships on local and state levels in
an effort to obtain the remaining federal cost-share balance needed to
complete the dredging project.
Dredging Subcommittee (DSC) –
As reported by Mr. Everingham, Mr. Buermann noted the MRC’s DSC is
extremely grateful for the Legislature’s recent $5.8 million in
appropriations to continue the
Buermann stated the County’s previously approved “Local Advanced
Funding” of the previously appropriated local cost share for the
project has moved forward in the ACOE’S approval process, being
transmitted from their Jacksonville District, to the South Atlantic
Division, and up to ACOE Headquarters in DC for approval.
The Dade Delegation is encouraging the ACOE to expedite execution
of the agreement, which would provide sufficient funding to award AS 9,
which would be completed as the next round of Federal funding becomes
available in FY ’08, which commences on
the state’s recent additional appropriations, Mr. Buermann noted the
project has $31.18 million available for dredging, which is sufficient
to make significant progress and dredge several acceptance sections,
leaving only a $16.5 million federal cost share balance due to complete
the project. Mr. Buermann
reported the President’s FY ’08 budget submittal includes $4.5
million for the project. Historically
Congress has been able to provide the President’s budgeted amount,
plus an additional $3.5 million “Congressional Ad”, therefore a best
case scenario FY ’08 appropriation would be $8 million.
FY ’08 starts
Buermann stated he had recently met with representatives from Weston,
the ACOE contracted dredgers, whom indicated that although their
contract expires half a year into federal FY ’09, the contract states
the ACOE can’t award any additional acceptance sections after the last
day of FY ’08,
Mr. Buermann reported the dredgers are seeking the County and MRC’s support for their desire to delay recommence dredging an additional 8 months, and extend the contract an estimated one year, in order to capture any additional potential federal funding in FY ’09. The first $2 million FIND grant awarded for the project in FY ’05 has already received its first and typically only allowable one year extension, and therefore must be expended no
later than August 2007. On behalf on the DSC, Mr. Buermann recommended that the MRC not advocate for the dredgers plan to further delay remobilization, and extending the end of the contract, which may also result in an increased cost per cubic yard removed. Mr. Buermann stated the MRC should support the ACOE’s intention to remobilize their contractors and utilize the millions in available funding to continue dredging. Mr. Buermann noted a 80% complete project is easier to finish than a 40% complete project, and noted the projects benefits will be only be realized upon completion of dredging to the River’s mouth.
Buermann commended Mr. Bibeau for his continued excellent work on behalf
of the project and MRC. Mr.
Bibeau provided copies of an updated estimated dredging funding summary.
Mr. Buermann announced the Dredging subcommittee’s next
regularly scheduled third Wednesday of the month publicly noticed
meeting will be held on May 16, 10 am, at the
Mr. Ruano stated he would like to make
a statement before ending his telephone conference into the meeting.
Mr. Ruano stated the City of
b. Urban Infill Working
Group (UIWG) – Per the MRC’s direction, Mr.
Mr. Murley stated the UIWG is working
with Miami-Dade County’s Interim Planning Director, Mr. Basu, and the
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), on creating an “Upper
River Plan”, which would be followed by the County’s adoption of
design specifications and guidelines to steer appropriate development in
the identified “MIC associated development” area.
Mr. Murley added the UIWG is scheduling a presentation for the revised
proposal for the area including the historically designated East Coast
Greenways Subcommittee –
Dr. Martin stated he and MRC staff were scheduling a meeting with City
Manager Pete Hernandez, regarding means to provide the Miami River
Greenway’s future maintenance, security, and special events. Dr.
Martin stated amongst the options are designating the Greenway as a
linear park with re-occurring revenue such as a Trust, for example the
Bayfront Park Management Trust and the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust.
Mr. Weinreb, City of
The next regularly scheduled second Wednesday of the month Greenways subcommittee’s publicly noticed meeting will take place May 9, 2 PM, 1407 NW 7 ST, Robert King High New Board Room.
Storm water Subcommittee – Ms.
Ms. Jude thanked the City of
Ms. Jude stated the Wagner Creek Total
Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) remains a draft awaiting execution by the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Ms. Jude stated the Stormwater
Subcommittee’s next regularly scheduled first Wednesday of the month
meeting will be held Wednesday, June 6, 10 am, Miami River Inn, 118 S.
Economic Development & Commerce (EDC) Subcommittee –
behalf of the MRC, EDC Co-Chair Bruno Barreiro thanked the
Empowerment Trust which awarded a $17,130 grant in April to contract two
FAU Professors to conduct a “Miami River Marine Industrial Economic
Analysis”, as authorized by the MRC Executive Board.
The EDC is seeking the additional $5,040 for the additional 3
peer’s to review the analysis upon its completion.
Chairman Barreiro stated after the
Mr. Mark Bailey, Merrill-Stevens
Yachts, stated their expansion negations with
The EDC’s next meeting will be held
on Friday, May 18, 3 PM, 1407 NW 7 ST, and the agenda includes a
discussion of recent permitting experience relative to DERM’s recently
established means to transfer boat slips from one location to another
along the Miami River.
Public Safety – Co-Chair
New Business – Mr.
Winston stated a Grand Jury report was instrumental and partially lead
to the creation of the MRC. Mr.
Winston stated there is a new Governor, new MRC chair, and new chair of
the Board of County Commissioners. Mr.
Winston stated the MRC should build on its successes, and suggested
hosting a public meeting to attract potential new MRC members and
participants. Ms. Jude
suggested creating a Miami Riverday Committee.
MRC Chair Buermann noted the MRC currently has three vacancies,
the Governor’s designee, Member at Large, and an Environmental / Civic
Organization appointment. MRC
Chair Buermann stated he wanted a balance of old and new perspectives,
and noted the importance of long standing members and staff with
institutional knowledge of river issues.
Chairman Barreiro suggested names of individuals whom would like
the Governor to consider them for his MRC appointments, should be
submitted to MRC staff within the next 30 days, and then the names would
be transmitted to the Governor for his consideration.
Mr. Winston suggested having a separate publicly noticed meeting
for the sole purpose of MRC members discussing potential new MRC
members, and MRC Chair Buermann recommended bringing individuals to the
publicly noticed MRC subcommittee meeting of their interest.
MRC Chair Buermann noted anyone may download the Governor’s
required applicant informational form on line, complete and submit it to
the Governor’s Office of Appointments in order to be considered for
the Governor’s available MRC appointments, adding applicants will be
considered regardless of party affiliation.
Chairman Barreiro stated the MRC should
ask the Governor not to veto the Legislature’s recently approved $5.8
million to dredge the
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting adjourned.