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Miami Beach commissioners approve big-ticket items

Miami Beach commissioners on Wednesday moved forward with capital improvement projects that could cost more than $10 million.

The projects are to fix flooding issues along lower North Bay Road, tackle anticipated water and sewer repairs, spruce up the Flamingo Park football field and track. and appropriate money for other improvements.

On Wednesday, the commission:

• Authorized the city to enter into negotiations with Central Florida Equipment Rentals for what is anticipated to be $9.4 million in road, drainage and streetscape improvements in the lower North Bay Road neighborhood.

The project area runs from 20th Street to Chase Avenue.

“The main bulk of it is to address flooding issues,” said Capital Improvements department spokeswoman Maria Palacios. “We’re going to be installing pump stations and reconfiguring the roadway ... but it also is going to have some street lighting upgrades. There’s going to be other infrastructure improvements, including water and sewer improvements.”

• Accepted bids for about $1 million worth of routine and emergency sewer and water repair, while rejecting others.

The city wants to have companies on standby to do repairs in case of an emergency. The city ranked multiple companies based on their proposed cost for certain kinds of repair work. For each category of work, the city proposed to work with three companies, starting off with the cheapest. If that company isn’t available to do the work, then the city would move on contract with one of the other companies.

However, Commissioner Ed Tobin noted that there were huge discrepancies in some of the companies’ proposed pricing for certain projects. For example, to rehab sewer and storm drain manholes, top-rank EnviroWaste Services Group proposed a $5,115 price tag, while the third-ranked company, JCC Enterprises Labor, proposed a cost of $115,250.

Tobin asked for reassurances that the city wouldn’t overpay for work done.

City Manager Jimmy Morales noted that often times, the work that will be performed will be needed on an emergency basis, which doesn’t leave time to place the project out to bid. He said that in cases when a company other than the one with the cheapest price is used, he can ask city staff to require his personal sign-off.

Additionally, the commission decided only to accept the top-ranked bidder for each project, and to seek new bids for second- and third-place companies that would do the work in the case that the top bidder is unavailable.

• Approved a fourth change order for renovation work at the Flamingo Park football field and track.

The original contract amount for work at the park was $114,669.95. With the latest amendment, for an additional $23,000, the city will have spent $185,058.95.

• Increased the capital improvement budget by about $1.8 million, and reappropriated about $1 million within the department. The changes affect nine different projects. Some projects are more expensive to build now then when they were originally proposed, while others have increased in scope.

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