FEES FOR PARKS: The Miami City Commission is to vote today (12/15) on an impact fee ordinance. If it passes, developers of single-family homes would pay $8,099 while developers of low-rise buildings would pay $7,124 per unit. High-rise developments would pay $4,702 per unit. It would take effect in 30 days. Most of the fees would be used for city parks and green space.
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SHOULDER SEPARATIONS: Miami-Dade Transit buses must wait a few weeks to get their own lanes on shoulders of expressways. The Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and Florida Turnpike Association have signed off on the project. Next stops: the Regional Transportation Committee today (12/15) and Miami-Dade commissioners soon after. County transit information officer Manuel Palmeiro said the lanes should be operational in January or February. Shoulder lanes chosen for the three-year pilot program are Pembroke Pines Boulevard in Broward County to Interstate 75 and the Palmetto Metrorail Station; Kendall Drive on the Palmetto Expressway to Miami Lakes; and Kendall Drive on the Florida's Turnpike Extension to State Road 836 into downtown Miami.
BYE-BYE METERS: The Miami Parking Authority is installing 150 Pay and Display machines to replace single-space parking meters in Brickell, the Design District and areas of downtown. The authority is using $4 million of a $27.8 bond issue to replace 4,919 meters with 454 machines. Last week, board members approved buying the machines at $9,590 each, or $1.4 million.
DIG IN: The Miami River Commission at its final meeting of the year will discuss the 15-foot dredging of the river that began in September 2004 and is expected to last for two years. It aims to remove 900,000 tons of sediment from a 5.5-mile stretch of river between Miami International Airport and Biscayne Bay. The meeting is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday (12/21) at the Miami-Dade County Housing Agency's office at Robert King High School, 1407 NW Seventh St.
TRY AGAIN: Miami's Historic and Environmental Preservation Board last week advised Mordalis Properties LLC to come back with new plans after the developer sought to demolish a 1925 Mediterranean-style apartment building in historic Lummus Park. Mordalis wants to replace the building with a 13-story multi-unit residential development called Nathan Lofts. The board asked the developer to revise plans so Wonderview Apartments, 345 NW Third St., would not be demolished. Mordalis partners Tim Moore and David Greer would not comment on their plans.
FINALLY: Miami's Department of Public Works is asking for a formal name change to Brickell Plaza for Southeast First Avenue between Southeast Eighth and 12th streets. The ordinance is a public reading and goes before city commissioners today (12/15). Brickell Plaza signs have been up for years.
POWERFUL VISIT: Gov. Jeb Bush is to meet at Coral Gables City Hall with Mayor Don Slesnick and the City Commission at 2 p.m. Dec. 21. "The governor is coming to share his concerns and to discuss issues regarding power problems that followed hurricanes Katrina and Wilma," said Mayor Slesnick.
SHOW TIME: The downtown Gusman Center for the Performing Arts suffered a blow this hurricane season, losing six shows. November and December should make up for it: The theater scheduled days of performances. Details: www.gusmancenter.org.
COMPUTING FOR ALL: The Miami City Commission today (12/15) is to take a final vote on extending the Technology Advisory Board by two years. The 4-year-old board provides computer services to poor residents and computer access in city parks with its E-Parks program.
HOME AT THE MALL: Alienware - a manufacturer of desktop and notebook computers, media centers, servers and professional systems - has opened its inaugural retail shop at Dadeland Mall, 7535 N. Kendall Dr.
VOLUNTEERS: Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for low-income families, praised luxury-home developer SinFin Homes for its involvement in building more than 100 homes on a 40-acre development east of US 1 in South Miami-Dade County in Jordan Commons Community. SinFin President Armando Jomarron and 15 other employees worked last week to help build the homes, which will be sold at below-market rates.
JOB TRAINING TOOLS: South Florida Workforce has an excess of federal and state training funds designated for training workers. Rick Beasley, executive director of the agency, said a major problem for companies has been finding people with skills required for jobs in hospitality, accounting, the medical field and other areas. "That's why training our workers to meet the needs of our local business community is crucial," he said. The public-private partnership is hosting a free Fall Training Extravaganza 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today (12/15) at the Stephen P. Clark Building, 111 NW First St., where representatives of up to 50 training institutions will discuss available training resources and scholarships. Details:1-866-352-2345.
BEETHOVEN DAY: A free concert celebrating the birth date of Ludwig van Beethoven is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Friday on the promenade of the Brickell Metrorail Station at 10th Street. Presented by Miami-Dade Transit and the Beethoven Society of Miami Dade, the concert will feature Miami's Top Brass and the Virtuous Thomas Scianmarello. Sponsors are Publix and Miami Today.
MAKING THE WEB WORK FOR YOU: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will host a series of classes and seminars on how to use Internet media. The presentation is being done by Laredo Group of Fort Lauderdale, which has trained professionals at Disney, NBC and Microsoft. The event is scheduled for Jan. 10-12 at the Radisson Miami Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. Details: (954) 577-5700.
CORRECTION: The winner of the inaugural Miami Monument: A Design and 3D Visualization Competition, announced Nov. 28, was Florida International University architecture professor Roberto Rovira. The name was misspelled in our Dec. 1 edition.
CORRECTION: The beneficiary of a $6 million advance in funding from a General Obligation Bond surplus created by a favorable sale is the Miami Beach Community Health Center and not its neighbor, the Miami Beach South Shore Community Center, as incorrectly reported Nov. 3.