GENERAL COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
Bob Parks, Chairman, called the
Miami River Commission Policy Committee members
Others attending interested in the River:
I. CHAIRS REPORT:
Mr. Parks called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to the June 2003 meeting. He stated that there was a quorum present and asked for approval of the May 2003 minutes. Phil Everingham made the motion to approve the May minutes. Gary Winston seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Bob thanked everyone for their help in assisting with the legislative session. The legislators passed the sunset repeal provision continuing the Commission, but unfortunately did not pass the funding appropriations bill. Bob explained that we are now busy looking for other funding opportunities. He reported that David and Brett have been very frugal with existing funds and the MRC has funding in place to continue operations at the same level of service for 10-11 months. Bob feels that during that time frame we should be able to obtain other funding sources and Phil Everingham will provide a report on fundraising during this meeting.
stated that he has a request to have the Greenway Committee report as
it concerns the River House Lofts project that was presented by Peter
Swartz at the May MRC meeting. Dr.
Martin advised that the Greenway Committee met on May 5 and stated
there was no opposition to the River House Loft proposed greenway
development. Dr. Martin
stated that the Greenway Committee has the following recommendation
for the MRC –The Greenway Committee unanimously recommends the
MRC support the Phase One River House Loft development proposal, and
further supports the developer’s request for the City of Miami to
grant permission to build two fountains on North River Driver, and
support the following Urban Infill Plan recommendations which are
connected to the proposal: two-waying
Flagler Street; cleaning, painting and improving beneath the First
Street and Flagler Bridges; under grounding Florida Power and Light
utilities; and incorporating the City and Florida Department of
Transportation owned rights-of-way as adjacent publicly accessible
green spaces. This
recommendation is in accordance with the Greenways and Urban Infill
Plan. The above
recommendation was moved as a motion by Gary Winston and seconded
by Dick Bunnell. Bob
Parks asked Peter Swartz if he had any additional information and
Peter stated that John Fullerton is the architect.
Discussion ensued. Commissioner
Barrerio asked about the waterfront access and Peter Swartz responded
that the waterfront access was available to all from
II Miami River Fund, Inc. Fundraising Report
asked Phil Everingham to give the report of the Miami River Fund, Inc.
(MRFI) fundraising meeting. Phil
provided all members with the written summary of the May 29th
meeting and explained that the MRFI is a Florida Corporation which is
a “not for profit” entity and has an IRS 501 c 3 designation,
which allows donations to the MRFI to be nontaxable.
Phil explained that the MRFI is a separate entity from the
Bob Parks stated that one of the most important issues is to expand the MRFI Board. Bob asked the MRC members to make recommendations on who should be added to the Board and provide that to staff for discussion at the next MRFI Board meeting. Discussion ensued. Sallye Jude stated that she knows Hank Leone and his expertise is primarily to work with large donors from the philanthropic and business community. The current MRFI Board members are Bob Parks, Phil Everingham, Dick Bunnell and Sallye Jude.
Dredging Working Group
Bunnell reported that David Miller had talked with the Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE) and that the Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) was
slightly amended by USACE Headquarters and was sent to Miami-Dade
County for signature. Once
Miami-Dade signs the PCA, it will be sent to USACE Headquarters for
final signature by the Assistant Secretary of the Army.
Once signed the project can be put out to bid.
The USACE Jacksonville Office has completed the bid proposal
and states that two days after signature the bid will be advertised.
We expect this to occur in the month of June.
Dredging could then start by November 2003.
Dick advised that no additional appropriations were provided
this year by the state of
Public Safety and Security
Dr. Fran Bohnsack reported that the Miami River Marine Group has applied for port security grants and she is waiting for the federal government to decide on the grants nationwide. She expects to hear the grant decision sometime in the middle of June.
Ernie Martin reported
that the MRC staff completed an application for the city of
Sallye Jude reported the
committee is still working to meet the requirements of the Water
Quality Improvement Report and additional data is available concerning
the Wagner Creek dioxin contamination.
The city is planning to hold another public meeting on June 21
at the Travelodge on
Development & Commerce Committee
David Miller reported that the last meeting was devoted to the development of a Marine Symposium to be scheduled in October/November 2003. This symposium would be primarily to attract new marine industry to the river. This would be a marketing project and we will work with the Beacon Council and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce in this endeavor. The timing should be perfect with the dredging project underway, bridge navigational improvements, reduced crime, and economic incentives in place such as the Enterprise Zone, Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone, tax incentives, job incentives, etc. David stated that marine industry has avoided the river due to sediment problems and high insurance rates caused by old antiquated bridges hazarding navigation on the river. He believes that new marine companies will come to the river once these longstanding infrastructure problems are fixed.
IV New Business
Phil Everingham advised the group that the Marine Council is holding a
Marine Exposition and Flea Market in the
Sallye Jude advised the MRC that she would be building a
restaurant named “Henry and Julias” which will be on the river in
front of the Miami River Inn. She
will bring the project before the Urban Infill Committee at the next
meeting and hopefully before the MRC at the July 2003 meeting.
Commissioner Barreiro commented on the Earlington Heights
Metrorail connection to the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) and stated
he prefers the route that goes closest to the railway bridge.
He requested that the MRC examine this issue.
Fran Bohnsack stated that the marine industry worked with the
Citizens Advisory Committee on this metrorail connection and the group
recommended the 32 Avenue routing, which would minimally impact marine
businesses. She added that
they would be meeting with the transportation consultant this week
concerning the exact placement of pillars, in order to minimally
impact the river businesses.
David mentioned that this weekend is also the Greater Miami
Chamber Goals Conference and that the GMCC has been very supportive of
river improvements including the dredging projects.
David reported that the City Commission approved the Downtown
Transportation Master Plan and the MPO is expected to approve the Plan
in the very near future. David
said this plan proposes a tunnel under the river in downtown and
recommends two-waying many downtown streets.
The current poor downtown street grid causes traffic flow to
funnel onto the
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting adjourned.