With the South Miami Commission eying a dilapidated City Hall, a public-private partnership could be the answer to getting a new building.
The commission met 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 14.
The main item
The commission narrowly passed an ordinance to authorize adoption of guidelines associated with a public-private partnership. Mayor Philip Stoddard and Commissioners Josh Liebman and Bob Welsh voted to approve the item, while Vice Mayor Walter Harris and Commissioner Gabriel Edmond dissented.
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City Manager Steven Alexander previously hired an architect, who said that a reconstruction of City Hall would prove very costly. Alexander said that with a public-private partnership, a developer would purchase the current property and as part of the compensation to the city would include building the city a new building. The ordinance amends the city’s code of ordinances to allow the option to enter into public-private partnership agreements that may be held in the city's best interests.
The guidelines include proposers paying the fees for applications, processing, reviewing and evaluating the proposals and the cost for private consultant evaluation.
“This process is designed to protect the city and the taxpayers of the city,” Alexander said on the dais. “That’s why it’s here. This does not railroad you into any decisions. At every point in the process, the commission has the authority to say we shut it down. We go through the entire process, negotiate what everybody thinks is a great deal. The public is involved. If the votes are not on the dais to move the thing forward it dies. The commission is always in control of the ultimate solution.”
▪ Taxing the city: The commission unanimously approved a resolution advising the Miami-Dade County property appraiser of a proposed tax rate of $4.37 per $1,000 of assessed property value. . The city will have a budget workshop in August and two budget hearings in September.
▪ Tutoring students: The commission consented to authorize Alexander to execute a 2015 county grant for the Afterschool House tutoring program, valued at $24,098. The city will use the funds to pay three part-time instructors a salary of $8,033 each.
▪ Feeding seniors: Alexander was also authorized to execute a county grant of $18,400 to fund the senior meals program. The city will be paying for two pre-packaged meals to residents every Friday at the HUD senior center. Each of the 7,049 meals will cost $2.61 and will be available for 52 weeks.
They said it
“Somebody comes in and hands you something, you have to pay to evaluate it. You have to pay people … to say is this even worth looking at? Whereas with this, they hand you a proposal and a $10,000 check with which you can hire people to check it out.” — South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard.
The next meeting
▪ When: 7 p.m. Aug. 4
▪ Where: City Hall, 6130 Sunset Dr., South Miami