Homestead City Council met for its committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday March 9, 2021.
Meeting first as the CRA Board, the six-member Council approved two commercial enhancement grants for local businesses. Matching funds are required for these awards.
The Avocado Animal Hospital at 426 N. Krome Avenue was awarded $25,000 for exterior improvements – fencing, painting, stucco repair and parking lot resurfacing. The owners, the Gomez family, already planned $67,843 in exterior improvements and $500,000 to retrofit the building’s interior.
Paramount Dance Studio at 112 N. Krome Avenue, on Losner Park, was given $25,000 for new signage and for ballet barres in two rooms. The match requirement was 90% to 10%. The Studio’s representative said they are open to any style or structure of signage over the rear entrance to the property when asked if their sign might clash with the new Losner Park aesthetic.
Council approved the City’s pre-application public hearing for COVID funds from the state Department of Economic Opportunity for $502,061. HUD will grant the funds as a CDBG after a second public hearing and then a final public session.
Councilmember Jenifer Bailey suggested some funds be used for transportation to vaccine sites.
The City’s annual CAPER report to HUD measuring the CRA’s performance was approved unanimously.
Council moved to approve annual City insurance renewals through the local Brown & Brown brokerage, in these amounts:
Property insurance (excluding the power plant) for a premium of $657,623, a 9.9% increase due to “delayed loss recognition of hurricanes in 2017/2018”.
Property insurance for the power plant and substations at $316,952 including machinery coverage at $108,364, a 14.7% increase.
Property insurance for City Hall and the Police Station at $125,920, a 13.8% increase.
Terrorism insurance for the City renewed at $48,969, the same as last year.
Property insurance for the Cybrarium at $40,000, providing an insured value of $13,786,541 with a 3% windstorm deductible.
At this point, Mayor Steve Losner who joined the session by phone announced Council would be losing its quorum momentarily. The City Manager was asked if any of the remaining ten agenda items were time-sensitive. She replied that all could be handled next week at the Council meeting.
Council will consider these five successful grants at next Wednesday’s meeting:
FEMA send the City an agreement for a hazard mitigation grant of $2,202,267.60. The money is to replace 1560 overhead wooden utility poles that FEMA terms “for resilient electrical utility infrastructure installation”.
Florida Department of Transportation provided a grant of $45,000 in law enforcement overtime for vehicular occupant protection, presumably seatbelts, for education and enforcement. No matching funds were required.
The Attorney General’s office amended a victim advocacy training grant to increase it by $42,125 to a total of $168,502, to be matched with COVID PPE funding.
Two Florida Department of Economic Opportunity grants were approved to provide critical facility hardening programs. The first is for $1,674,000 to protect the Wittkop Park Water Treatment Facility. The second is for $2,700,000 to provide a back-up generator at the Waste Water Treatment Facility, no matching funds required.