A six-member Homestead City Council moved quickly through its 21 item agenda without discussion at its meeting on Wednesday May 29.
The proposed Cybrary project amendment to the City budget was approved on second reading. The 2019 budget reflects a $15,010,873 change to revenues and expenditures.
The amount was accounted for by appropriating $6,952,598 from the City’s General Fund to transfer to the Cybrary Fund. The City’s annual
budget then reflected an $8,058,275 appropriation to the Cybrary Fund
consisting of that General Fund amount plus a $1 million contribution from Library Systems & Services and another $105,677 from “downtown project surpluses”, according to the staff memo.
Staff was asked to further clarify the source of the funds. Council was told the money came from various sources, primarily general fund reserves, plus a Community Development Block grant (CDBG) of $300,000, future anticipated grants, and monies from downtown projects generating savings.
An included CRA grant of $100,000 was taken from 2020 funds.
In total, funding of $1.721 million was deemed advances of funds to be reimbursed from future funding sources including the CDBG, the Neighborhood Stabilization program and “other grant opportunities”, according to the staff memo. Another $1.789 million was made available from downtown project surpluses.
Staff reminded council the fund already had $3.8 million from a HUD loan repayable in twenty years from the old bowling alley property including monies already expended on Cybrary design and planning.
The final City budget shows of $12,743,282 in the 2019 Cybrary Fund.
Council’s consent agenda included $300,000 for renovations to the soccer fields at the Sports Complex. Also included was acceptance of a proposed settlement in a class action suit about bid rigging of a water treatment chemical. Homestead agreed to be lead plaintiff in the action. After three years of negotiation, the case settled for $2.2 million entitling the City to another $25,000 incentive fee for case administration.
Council unanimously approved a special exception and site plan for renovations to the Lorenzo Enterprise property on US 1 at NE 11th Street. The request is for an expanded Ford dealership showroom, a renovated service center, a new detail bay and reuse of the existing administrative/parts
center, plus with a total of 425 parking spaces. Original variances were granted in 1995. The five entrances are to be reconfigured and remain, along with existing signage.
Council also approved an amendment to City Code on second reading to allow valet parking along the Krome corridor in the City’s Arts, entertainment and Antiques District.
The new rule is subject to periodic review.
The County election bureau requested Homestead change the timeframe where candidates for City Council can decide not to appear on the November 5 ballot for Vice Mayor. The request was made to meet the deadline for mail-in ballots.
Homestead’s City Clerk negotiated a forty-eight hour window from the October 1 primary to the final decision in the race for Vice Mayor, down from the current six day period. Council agreed to the change thus avoiding additional delays and costs for the election.
Because the multi-modal center for BRT adjacent to Homestead Station will not be completed by the late October opening of the Station, temporary bus shelters need to be installed. Council approved to the purchase of shelters for $45,775 and engineering services for installation at a cost of $70,386.
An inter-local agreement drafted by the County was agreed to by Council for final installation. The County Commission must approve the deal, now scheduled for its August meeting, before Homestead council accepts the final
installation cost for those bus shelters.
Finally, Council accepted a $50,000 settlement in damages to a company’s power lines during Hurricane Irma clean-up and also agreed to $200,000 as a negotiated settlement from mediation due to a city employee’s on-duty