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MIAMI RIVER COMMISSION 
c/o Rosenstiel School
4600 Rickenbacker Cswy,
Miami, Fl. 33149
305-421-4850
Fax: 305-421-4755
  e-mail: mrc@rsmas.miami.edu

  MIAMI RIVER COMMISSION
  GENERAL COMMITTEE MINUTES:
 
Minutes of meeting

MONDAY
Dec. 6, 2004
12:00 NOON
(THIS IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT)

Chairperson Irela Bagué called the Miami River Commission (MRC) meeting to order at noon , on Monday, December 6, 2004 , in the United Way , Ansin Building , 3250 S.W. Third Avenue , Miami , Florida .

Miami River Commission Policy Committee members and/or Designees attending were:
  • Chairperson Irela Bague, South Florida Water Management District designee

  • Phil Everingham, President of the Marine Council, MRC Vice Chairman

  • Roman Gastesi, designee for Mayor of Miami-Dade County Alex Penelas

  • Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, Board of County Commissioners

  • Ms. Betty Gutierrez, designee for Commissioner Barreiro

  • Steve Wright, designee for City Commissioner Joe Sanchez

  • Ernie Martin, Neighborhood Representative, Appointed by City Commission

  • Megan Kelly, designee for Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce

  • Sallye Jude, Neighborhood Representative, appointed by Miami-Dade Commission

  • Dana Nottingham, Executive Director, Downtown Development Authority

  • Gary Winston, designee for Miami-Dade State Attorney

  • Dick Bunnell, Miami River Marine Group, designee

MRC Staff: Brett Bibeau, Managing Director

Others attending interested in the River:

  • Jim Murley, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Cantenese Center

  • Dr. Fran Bohnsack, Miami River Marine Group, Executive Director

  • Evan Skornick, South Florida Water Management District

  • Tony Garrastazu, Office of the Governor

  • Jeanette Stanley, Trust for Public Land

  • Pietro Taballione, University of Miami , MRC Volunteer Intern
  • Kevin Provance, City of Miami Planning Department

  • Harold Ruck, City of Miami Planning Department

 

I. Chair's Report: 

MRC Chairperson Irela Bagué asked for a motion on the November 1, 2004 MRC minutes. Dr. Ernie Martin moved to approve the November 1, 2004 MRC meeting minutes, the motion was seconded by Roman Gastesi, and unanimously adopted.

 Chairperson Bagué referenced the MRC Executive Committee’s November 19, 2004 minutes, which include the Executive Committee’s unanimous recommendation to increase the MRC Managing Director’s Annual Salary to $64,000, as of November 1, 2004 .  Bagué noted the salary is all inclusive, and the only benefits are paid holidays & two weeks vacation, and reimbursement of local travel expenses, and the recommended

 increase would restore the level of the original 1998 MRC Managing Director salary.  Bagué added Brett Bibeau has been doing a great job as the MRC’s Managing Director, and Roman Gastesi stated he works regularly with Bibeau on the Miami River Dredging project, and Bibeau has done an excellent job.  Roman Gastesi moved to increase the MRC Managing Director’s Annual Salary to $64,000 effective November 1, 2004 , the motion was seconded by Phil Everingham, and unanimously adopted by the MRC.

 Chairperson Bagué referenced the MRC Executive Committee’s November 19, 2004 minutes, which include the Executive Committee’s unanimous recommendation to increase the MRC Assistant Managing Director’s Annual Salary to $35,000.  Bagué noted the salary is all-inclusive, and the only benefits are paid holidays & two weeks paid vacation, and reimbursement of local travel expenses, and the increase would help keeping the difficult position filled.  Mr. Roman Gastesi moved to increase the MRC’s Assistant Managing Director’s Annual Salary to $35,000, the motion was seconded by Sallye Jude, and unanimously adopted by the MRC.

 Chairperson Bagué referenced the MRC Executive Committee’s November 19, 2004 minutes, and stated the MRC members and designees were faxed Avi Witz’s resignation letter, citing he was offered another position with 30% more pay and benefits.  Bagué stated Mr. Bibeau has selected Ashley Chase as the new MRC Assistant Managing Director, and her resume was made available to the MRC.  Bagué stated Chase graduated from the University of Miami , and has been working as a local reporter. The MRC stated no objections to the selection. 

 Chairperson Bagué referenced the MRC Executive Committee’s November 19, 2004 minutes, including Mr. Adam Spiegel and Ms. Gesana Hung, Morrison, Brown & Argiz, presentation of the “clean” Fiscal Year 2004 Audit.  Bagué noted the audit had been mailed to all MRC members and designees.  Bagué noted the MRC Executive Committee had unanimously agreed to the audit’s recommendation for an additional internal control of having the three check signing board members, Phil Everingham, Dick Bunnell and Sallye Jude, rotate opening the monthly bank statements, and checking the enclosed checks.

 Chairperson Bagué stated the MRC’s November 19, 2004 minutes includes their recommended 2005 MRC operational budget.  Mr. Everingham moved the Executive Committee’s recommended MRC operational budget, Mr. Bunnell seconded the motion, which was unanimously adopted.

 Chairperson Bagué stated the newly elected Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez submitted a memo to the MRC, designating Mr. Roman Gastesi to continue serving as MRC designee for the Mayor’s Office.

 Chairperson Bagué referenced the MRC Executive Committee’s November 19, 2004 minutes, when the Executive Committee determined due to the New Years Holiday the

next MRC meeting has been rescheduled to the second Monday of the month, January 10, 2005 , 11:30 am , Miami River Inn 118 South River Drive.  The meeting will commence

with a special luncheon to honor, thank and recognize the MRC’s former members Bob Parks, Cleve Jones, Beau Payne, Janet McAliley, Theo Long, Alex Penelas and Rene Garcia, and new MRC members Senator Rudy Garcia, Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Manny Prieguez, etc.

  II. Discuss Draft City of Miami Evaluation Appraisal Report - Mr. Kevin Provance, City of Miami Planning Department, presented the City of Miami ’s draft Evaluation Appraisal Report (EAR).  The Florida Department of Community Affairs requires the EAR, to guide potential future amendments of the City of Miami ’s adopted Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan.  Mr. Jim Murley, Chair of the MRC’s Urban Infill Working Group (UIWG), referenced the UIWG’s November 24, 2004 minutes, and the “Draft City of Miami Evaluation Appraisal Report’s Recommendations to Amend the Following Miami Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan’s Items Related to the Miami River Corridor”, both of which were included in the MRC board members mailed package, and made available at the MRC meeting.  Mr. Provance stated the City of Miami Planning Advisory Board concurred with 14 of 16 of the UIWG’s November 24, 2004 recommendations on the draft EAR, and the City of Miami Planning Department has concurred with 13 of 16 of the UIWG’s recommendations.  The MRC unanimously concurred with all of the MRC Urban Infill Working Group’s November 24, 2004 recommendations on the draft EAR.   

 III.  Review Draft “2nd Annual Update” of the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan - Mr. Jim Murley, Chair of the MRC’s UIWG, stated the MRC’s adopted strategic plan, the award winning Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan, requires an annual update.  Murley noted the November 16, 2004 draft  “2nd Annual Update” was included in the MRC board member’s mailed packages, and an updated December 6, 2004 draft was distributed.  Mr. Murley thanked Brett Bibeau for his good work on the draft and related power point, which was presented by Mr. Murley.  Mr. Murley stated the draft finds nearly half (31) of the Plan’s “Implementation Steps” have been brought to fruition, and 75% of the Plan’s “Opportunity Sites” have either broken ground, are permitted, or are in final permitting stages.  The Plan’s completed “Implementation Steps” include, but are not limited to, commencing dredging of the Miami River, developing the Miami River Greenway, retrofitting the antiquated storm water and sanitary sewer systems, creation of 6 new waterfront parks, increasing tree canopy, supporting Mayor Diaz’s “Clean-Up Miami” campaign, de-pollution vessel services, expansion of the Enterprise Zone business incentives, extending metro-mover operational hours, new market rate and affordable housing developments, and more.

 Mr. Murley noted the Annual Update provides an opportunity for the MRC to consider any potential amendments to the Plan.  Murley stated the following three potential amendments have been submitted by MRC board member Dr. Ernie Martin, and will be included in the 6 upcoming public hearings on the draft update:

  •   In order to make development in the “Middle” and “Upper” River (west of NW 5 ST Bridge) more in scale with the surrounding neighborhoods, request the City of Miami to calculate Lot Area, Floor Area Ratio and Open Space based on existing upland private property only, eliminating the 50-foot bonus provided into the Miami River.

  • Consider Residential Market Study’s to ensure that a market exists for more than the 8,000 residential units currently under construction and approved along the Miami River .
  • Encourage developments to include alternate sources of energy. i.e. solar panels.

 Bagué noted the MRC Executive Committee’s November 19, 2004 minutes state, “The Executive Committee unanimously agreed that the “target date” for any MRC member proposed amendments to the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan should be submitted to MRC staff by December 6, 2004, in order for them to be a component of the Plan’s “2nd Annual Update”, as it proceeds through a series of publicly noticed hearings, prior to final consideration by the MRC in February 2005.”  Bagué noted any potential amendments submitted after the “target date” would be deferred at the MRC’s February 7, 2005 meeting, in order to provide an opportunity for additional public hearings to provide the opportunity for input on any additional proposed amendments.

 Murley stated the “First Annual Update” recommended comprehensive Transportation Study of the Miami River Corridor remains a priority of the UIWG.  Commissioner Barreiro recommended standard parts be recommended for use in bridge replacement projects to facilitate future bridge maintenance.  Ms. Jude recommended including the study of 1st Street Bridge pedestrian access improvements, and addressing its loud warning bells.  Bagué stated she is scheduling a meeting with the Florida Department of Transportation to discuss the MRC’s transportation related recommendations.

 IV.  MRC Subcommittee Reports

 a.   Dredging Working Group – MRC Dredging Working Group co-chair Dick Bunnell stated the project has been underway since September 2004, and the Dredging Working Group is focused on maintaining the funding flow necessary to avoid any temporary demobilizations of the project.  Mr. Roman Gastesi stated the local project sponsor, Miami-Dade County , is fully committed to maintain the local cost share funding flow at a sufficient level to avoid any temporary de-mobilizations.  Mr. Bibeau stated in late November 2004, Congress passed an “omnibus” Fiscal Year 2005 budget bill, which surprisingly included the Energy and Water Bill, since a deal was worked out on the Yucca Mountain project.  The Energy and Water Bill component of the omnibus budget bill included a $2 million Miami River dredging line item.  Bibeau noted the Army Corps was working on re-programming $5 million from the $26 million previously appropriated, back to the Miami River dredging project, in order to authorize dredging in acceptance area two, just prior to completing dredging in acceptance area one in early January 2005.

 c.  Greenways subcommittee – Dr. Ernie Martin, Chair of the Greenways subcommittee, stated the draft Miami River Greenways Historical Markers Request for Proposals (RFP), authorized at the MRC’s November 1, 2004 meeting, was included in the MRC board members mailed package, and was available at the meeting.  Dr. Martin noted the draft RFP has not been advertised, and stated the draft RFP advertisement date is later in December 2004.  Dr. Martin cited the Greenways subcommittee’s November 24, 2004 minutes.  Dr. Martin noted the minutes reflect the Villager’s $25,000 awarded grant for the Greenway Historical Markers is a reimbursable grant, and the Greenways subcommittee recommended receiving the $25,000 in grant funding from the Villagers, prior to advertising the drafted RFP, in order to guarantee the MRC’s ability to pay for the subsequent contract.  Martin explained the Villagers are only willing to administer the awarded grant in a reimbursable basis, therefore the Greenways subcommittee is recommending the Trust for Public Land issue the necessary RFP.  Ms. Sallye Jude moved for the Trust for Public Land to issue the RFP, Mr. Phil Everingham seconded the motion, which was unanimously adopted by the MRC.    

 d.  Stormwater Subcommittee – Ms. Sallye Jude, MRC Stormwater Subcommittee co-chair, stated Camp Dresser McKee has submitted the draft “Upper Wager Creek Isolation Survey” report.  The report identified several defects in the sanitary sewer system, which will be repaired by the Water and Sewer Department.  In addition, Ms. Jude stated the City Commission may decide to reconsider the temporary staging site they had selected for the upcoming Wagner Creek Dredging project.

 e.  Economic Development and Commerce – Ms. Megan Kelly, Chair of the MRC’s Economic Development and Commerce Working Group (EDC), stated the EDC is working on implementing the “Action Items” identified during the September 27, 2004 Miami River Marine Industries Symposium.  Ms. Kelly cited the EDC’s November 10, 2004 minutes of the “Exploring the Working River - Part I” public workshop, hosted at Antillean Marine.  Ms. Kelly stated Merrill-Stevens has agreed to host “Exploring the Working River – Part II”, and she asked MRC staff to e-mail the agenda to the entire MRC.

 f.  Miami River Safety CommitteeMr. Gary Winston, co-chair of the MRC’s Safety Committee, stated there have been no recent reports of crime within the Miami River Corridor, and no pressing issues.  Their next meeting is Tuesday, December 14, 2004, 10 am, at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, 100 McArthur Causeway.

 V.  New BusinessMr. Bibeau stated the 9th Annual Miami Riverday is scheduled for Saturday, March 19, 2005 , 11 am – 5 pm , Jose Marti Park .  The free festival will again feature river boat tours, water taxi rides, live music, marine expo, environmental education, historical re-enactors, children activities, etc.   

Commissioner Barreiro invited everyone to the Barreiro Christmas Party / Toy Giveaway, Saturday December 11, 2004 , 11 am , Jose Marti Park .

Brett Bibeau thanked Pietro Taballione, volunteer MRC Intern, for his three months of hard work for the MRC.            

IV. Adjournment 

 

There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting adjourned.

_____________________________Recording Secretary

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