During its Wednesday night meeting, the Homestead City Council approved a nonbinding agreement to lease land to a company looking to build and operate an observation tower in the city’s downtown.
The main item
City officials agreed to sign a letter of intent from Leisure and Recreation Concepts, a Texas corporation, to develop, manage and operate a 556-foot tower attraction in downtown Homestead.
The project would include “educational exhibits, entertainment facilities and restaurants,” according to the document submitted to the city.
In turn, the city would agree to lease a 1.8-acre parcel of vacant land for the tower and a 4.2 parcel, where the former police headquarters is located, to become a parking garage.
According to the nonbinding agreement, the city would lease the land for $1 a year for a term of 40 years, and the option to renew for an additional 35 years.
At the top of the tower, visitors would be able to see two national parks that surround Homestead, highlighting the city’s image as the “Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks.”
The letter of intent would allow LARC to move forward with plans to secure financing for the project.
▪ Police station guaranteed price: The city approved a guaranteed maximum price of $15, 259,000 for Munilla Construction Management to build a new police station, staying within the budget of $18 million set in a May 2014 bond referendum.
▪ FPL agreement: Officials approved a 10-year purchased power agreement with Florida Power & Light to secure the growing need for power in the city. It would also lower the current electricity bill for residents.
In the agreement, the city would have a fixed price of $42 per megawatt per hour, about $35 less than the city’s current pricing with Duke Energy.
▪ Police allegations: During the public meeting on Wednesday, City Manager George Gretsas addressed allegations against the police department mentioned in an open letter by the president of the Police Benevolent Association and then published in a TV news story. Gretsas said the media “sensationalized” that police kept fetuses in a sealed refrigerator, which actually contained rape kits and tissue swabs.
The next meeting
▪ When: 6 p.m. Aug. 19.
▪ Where: 1601 N. Krome Ave.