Seiden had the contract with ESG to go forward in hand and a motion was made by Councilman Bob Best to direct staff to sign it and get moving. But the mayor and other council members felt a need to review the contract and it was agreed the decision about going forward with the ESG project would take place at the first meeting in January.
In other news, the council:
• Presented the Yard of the Month award for December to Clifford and Merilynn Kleinhample at 190 Shadow Way.
• Approved a request by Fred Suco of Woody’s West End Tavern to host a New Year’s Eve celebration that includes closing a portion of Flagler Drive and having live music until 1 a.m.
• Tabled a request from the Miami Springs Woman’s Club to waive $710 in permit fees for new construction so donations from the public can be solicited to cover these costs.
• Passed on second reading by a 4-1 vote (Ator dissenting) an ordinance approving asphalt shingles as an approved roofing material in Miami Springs.
• Approved on second reading by a 4-1 vote (Ator dissenting) an ordinance removing any and all required participation of the Architecture Review Board in the design review process in the Northwest 36th Street area.
• Approved on second reading unanimously an ordinance allowing an additional $25,000 senior homestead tax exemption.
• Approved on first reading unanimously an ordinance amending the benefits and eligibility of the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), providing additional provisions and clarifying plan eligibility.
• Approved on first reading unanimously an ordinance providing a two-year plan for the city to reduce required police retirement plan contributions.
• Set the date of Wednesday, Dec. 26 at noon for a special meeting to approve on second reading the ordinances that pertain to the DROP program and the police pension contributions.
Springs council approves senior property tax break
Miami Springs leaders voted 5-0 at the Dec. 10 council meeting to approve a $50,000 senior homestead exemption.
To qualify, according to Finance Director William Alonso, senior property owners in Miami Springs must:
• Be 65 or older.
• Have an annual 2012 household income of less than $27,030.
“The limit increases each year based on the consumer price index,” said Alonso, who added that the 2013 income limit is expected out next month.
The city estimates that it has 210 eligible seniors and it would cost $38,000 to fund the group.
Florida voters approved a statewide amendment in November to boost senior property exemptions to $50,000. According to the law, Miami Springs had to adopt an ordinance in order for residents to avail themselves of the tax break.