At its Tuesday, June 23 meeting, the North Miami City Council approved about $1.8 million to the North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art to support its programming and to help with staffing. The City Council also voted to eliminate the city’s red-light camera program.
The main item
MOCA got a large boost from the city when the City Council approved more than $1 million in funding to support the museum Tuesday night.
The City Council unanimously approved about $1.2 million in funding to keep MOCA operational through the rest of the fiscal year. They also voted to give the museum’s nonprofit wing, MOCA, Inc., a $650,000 loan to create an “organizational and physical framework” to help attract donors and prepare grant applications.
“There is no downtown, there is no city redevelopment without restructuring and maintaining the image of MOCA and we have to be serious about that,” Mayor Smith Joseph said.
The funding will come from three sources, based on staff recommendations: $500,000 from staff benefits, about $600,000 from contingency funds and about $700,000 from funds that were allocated to build a new Police Athletic League building. City Manager Aleem Ghany said there will still be funds available to complete the PAL building.
The funding comes after the city gave a $500,000 loan to the museum last November to assist with Art Basel programming. The $1.2 million amount is based on city estimates that MOCA will spend more than $2.7 million by the end of this fiscal year. The funding is also expected to help pay for 2015 Art Basel programming.
▪ Red light cameras: The council voted, 4-1, to terminate its contract with American Traffic Solutions, ending the city’s red-light camera program. The contract was last discussed in January and the council voted to keep the contract going on a month-to-month basis. Vice Mayor Carol Keys voted against the item and said it makes the streets “a much more dangerous place for our residents.”
▪ North Miami library: The City Council approved $700,000 in additional funding to complete interior renovations at the library. Grant funding will cover $500,000 of the costs while $100,000 will come from the city’s capital improvement funds. The remaining $100,000 will be addressed in next year’s budget and will cover exterior fixes. The main building has been closed since last August and staff said the library will be reopened within eight weeks thanks to the funding.
▪ Short-term rental ads: An ordinance to restrict advertising short-term rentals for parties and events passed on a preliminary vote from the council. The ordinance is based on a item from the June 10 meeting where the council took steps to curtail the practice to address noise complaints and traffic problems in residential neighborhoods. The ordinance discussed on Tuesday is specifically for rentals of fewer than three months, those rentals are already prohibited by city code.
They said it
“Somebody said this is a very sad day for the city to eliminate the cameras. It’s always a sad day for a child when you take away a pacifier from him or her.” — Mayor Smith Joseph discussing the termination of the red-light camera contract.
You said it
“There is not going to be a North Miami or a planet if we don’t start thinking about the bigger picture.” — Resident Natalie Kate encouraging the city to plant trees effectively and target irrigation issues.
The next meeting
▪ When: July 14 at 7 p.m.
▪ Where: North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St., North Miami