Agenda Digest: Commission Meeting (12/7/2021)

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
[email protected]


On December 7, 2021, the Coral Gables City Commission will hold its next City Commission meeting. Here are some of the more notable items on the agenda for this upcoming meeting. Click here to see the full agenda.

Non-credited quotes in this article are excerpts from the memos presented to the Commission explaining the items.

Gables Insider comments on specific items can be found in blue.

Watch Meeting

To watch the meeting live on Tuesday, December 7th at 9:00AM, click here. The meeting will also be available live on the City’s YouTube Channel. You can watch it by clicking here.

Mayor’s Comments

D-1: Presentation by Miami Dolphins on the Dolphins Challenge Cancer.

D-2: Discussion regarding Wings for Wishes 2022.

Consent Agenda

E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission retroactively authorizing Saint Theresa Catholic School to sell alcoholic beverages as part of the Annual Parish School Fair on the School’s grounds at 2701 Indian Mound Trail on Friday, December 3, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and on Sunday, December 5, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements.

E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the City Manager to continue to engage Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. for work on the citywide conversion of overhead utilities to underground pursuant to Section 2-607(24) of the City Code.

“On May 28, 2019, after a presentation, the City Commission adopted Resolution No. 2019-132 directing the City Manager and City Attorney to request “ballpark” estimates to underground all power and utility lines throughout the entire City from Florida Power & Light (FPL) and other applicable utilities and present said estimates to the City Commission after September 1, 2019. On April 25, 2019, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. (“Stantec”) was retained by the City Attorney’s Office in accordance with Sec. 2-607(6) and (24) of the City Code in order to provide consulting services in preparation for the presentation made to the City Commission on the Citywide Conversion of Overhead Utilities to Underground Project (“Project”). On November 12, 2019, the “ballpark” estimates were provided to the City Commission as part of a presentation and City Commission adopted Resolution No. 2019-346 directing the City Manager and City Attorney to proceed with: (1) preparing potential strategies for methodologies to use to assess or charge a fee to property owners; (2) preparing detailed vignettes, scenarios, and renderings, as well as communications to be utilized for stakeholder engagement; (3) engaging community stakeholders which may include community meetings, charettes, written or oral surveys/pools, and other feedback; and (4) considering with greater specificity the scoping and phasing of the projects. Significant and additional work was required of Stantec to complete the tasks outlined in Resolution No. 2019-346, and given the strict and fast-moving timeline for accomplishing the next steps in the process, the City Attorney’s Office, under Sections 2-607(6) and (24) of the City Code authorized continued work by Stantec on the Project. Thereafter on January 14, 2020, the City Commission adopted Resolution 2020-07, authorizing Stantec to continue work on the Project for an amount not to exceed $60,000.00. At present, significant progress has been made on the Project but there is more work to be done, particularly in regards to understanding how FPL’s Storm Secure Underground Pilot Program can support more reliant and resilient utility services for Coral Gables residents. The City Commission therefore authorizes the City Manager to continue to engage Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. pursuant to Section 2-607(24) of the City Code for an amount not to exceed $100,000.00.”

E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award the Residential Recycling Bins purchase to Peninsula Plastics Limited dba Nova Products, Inc., the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, in the initial amount of $195,200.00, pursuant to Invitation for Bids (IFB) 2021-035 and Section 2-763 of the Procurement Code entitled “Contract Award”.

“The purpose of this Invitation for Bids is to establish a contract with a successful bidder for the purchase of approximately sixteen thousand (16,000) 22-gallon recycling plastic bins and lids. On October 26, 2021, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued, and distributed the IFB for the purchase of approximately sixteen thousand (16,000) 22-gallon recycling plastic bins and lids. Ten (10) prospective bidders downloaded the IFB package from Public Purchase, the City’s webbased e-Procurement service. On November 16, 2021, two (2) bids were received in response to the IFB 2021-035 from: Orbis Corporation and Peninsula Plastics Limited dba Nova Products. The lowest responsive responsible bidder for this project was determined to be Peninsula Plastics Limited dba Nova Products in the initial amount of $195,200.00. The responses were reviewed by the Procurement Division in order to determine responsiveness to the requirements of the IFB and to identify the lowest responsive responsible bidder. The procurement Division finalized its due diligence process and confirmed that Peninsula Plastics Limited dba Nova Products, is both responsive to the requirements of the IFB and responsible bidder. The Public Works Department concurs with the Chief Procurement Officer’s recommendation to award the Residential Recycling Bins to Peninsula Plastics Limited dba Nova Product in the initial amount of $195,200.00. Additionally, the department is requesting approval to purchase additional units based on the availability of funds.”

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the execution of a Service Agreement with The Trane Company for the Public Safety Building’s, located at 2151 Salzedo Street, maintenance and service of the Tracer Automation System, in the amount of $ 216,265 for maintenance services to be performed.

“The City’s Public Safety Building is a state-of-the-art facility, with multiple energy efficient components. One of these components includes Trane’s Tracer Building Automation System. This system controls the building’s HVAC system which allows for energy efficiency and a quick diagnosis of its equipment. South Florida Trane is the only controls manufacturer/representative and the Sole Source factoryauthorized servicer for the Tracer Building Automation System. This agreement will provide services that include troubleshooting and correcting problems in Trane’s HVAC system, pre-maintenance, maintenance repair, emergency repair, and other related work. This service agreement will be for (5) years, starting fiscal year 2021-2022 and will allow for yearly renewal options thereafter.”

Financial amount is $216,265.

E-5: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing a contract modification to the Fountain Maintenance Citywide Service Contract IFB 2019-001, with Oliver’s Pools, Inc. pursuant to Section 2-764(b), Approval of Change Orders and Contract Modifications, in an annual estimated amount of $182,000 for additional fountain maintenance services to be performed.

“On March 12, 2019, the City entered into an agreement executed under the Chief Procurement Officer’s authority, pursuant to Section 2-685 of the Procurement Code entitled “Contract Award”. The contract was executed for Fountain Maintenance Services with Oliver’s Pools, Inc. which provides routine cleaning services. The existing contract capacity is currently $55,200, per year, which only covers routine cleaning. The additional amount requested will allow for troubleshooting and correcting problems in fountain systems, pre-maintenance, maintenance repair, emergency repair, and other fountain related work. This initial increase will cover $182,000 in additional expenses to the contract in the amount of $55,200 during fiscal year 2021-2022 as well as each year moving forward based on need and will not exceed the available budget.”

Financial amount is $182,000.

E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance and execution of grant funds in the amount of $10,000 allocated to the Coral Gables Police Department from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program; and authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget to recognize the $10,000 grant funds as revenue and to appropriate such funds to cover the grant expenditures.

“The State of Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has awarded the Coral Gables Police Department an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG-D) in the amount of $10,000 to implement an Officer Fitness and Wellness Program that will improve the safety of Coral Gables Police Officers through contracted services that promote physical health and overall wellness. The Police Department received notification that the grant application under subgrant 2022-JAGD-DADE-3-4B046 was successfully reviewed and approved by FDLE on November 19, 2021. An amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget is required to recognize the $10,000 grant funds as revenue and to appropriate such funds to cover the cost of the grant expenditures.”

E-7 & E-8 are items related to appointments of residents to a City Advisory Board.

Ordinances On Second Reading

F-1: An Ordinance of the City Commission granting approval of a Planned Area Development (PAD) pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-206, “General Procedures for Planned Area Development” for a proposed multi-family project referred to as “Gables Village” on the property legally described as Lots 1 through 22, Block 28, “Coral Gables Biltmore Section” (504, 516, 522, 530, and 536 Malaga; 503, 511, 515, 535, 529, 525, and 521 Santander; and 3109 Segovia), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyists: Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Mario Garcia-Serra, Maria de la Guardia and Jenny Ducret.

“The Applicant is requesting approval of the Planned Area Development (PAD) only, with the intent to obtain Commission approval of the Final Plat upon review and approval by the County’s Plat Committee. As such, a Condition of Approval has been included in the draft Ordinance to allow sufficient time to obtain the Final Plat prior to applying for the building permit. Gables Village is a proposed low-density multi-family redevelopment that encompasses the entire block bounded by Malaga, Hernando, Santander, and Segovia in the Biltmore Section, within walking distance of the War Memorial Youth Center, Coral Gables Library, Somerset Academy, San Sebastian Apartments, and the south part of downtown Coral Gables. The block currently includes 13 properties with a total of 52 multi-family units and approximately 2.6 acres in size. The project proposes 48 residential units, including 24 flats, 4 lofts, 16 townhouses, and 4 duplex units, and ground level parking of 92 spaces. The proposed buildings heights vary between 30 feet at 2-stories and 45 feet at 4-stories.”

City Commission Items

G-1: Update regarding the Hackathon event in partnership with the University of Miami. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez)

G-2: Discussion regarding existing signage on privately owned public surface parking lots. (Sponsored by Vice Mayor Mena) (See presentation).

G-3: Discussion regarding increasing the number of members on the Economic Development Board to accommodate representation of the Coral Gables Business Improvement District (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors, Jr.)

G-4: Update from staff on the process to secure five cultural events. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (See presentation).

G-5: An update from staff regarding the sidewalks on Blue Road, bridges and Riviera Country Club. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

G-6: Discussion regarding the Gondola Building. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

G-7: Discussion regarding outdoor dining. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

Boards/Committees Items

H-1: A Resolution of the City Commission appointing _ (Current Member: Joseph De Maria) (Nominated by the Commission-As-A-Whole) for a one (1) year term beginning December 7, 2021 through December 31, 2022 to serve as a member of the Coral Gables Trial Board.

H-2: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the concept for a work of public art titled “Waiting” by Brian Donnelly, as KAWS, in conjunction with The Plaza Coral Gables development project at 2901 Ponce De Leon Boulevard in fulfillment of the Art in Public Places requirement for public art in private development (previously proposed work by the artist unanimously recommended by the Arts Advisory Panel approval/denial vote: 7 to 0,; proposed work unanimously recommended by the Cultural Development Board approval/denial vote: 6 to 0).

“Agave Plaza Trustee Living (the “Developer”) is constructing a mixed-use project at 2901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, The Plaza (the “Project”). The Developer has chosen the option of petitioning for a waiver of the Art in Public Places Fee requirement by acquiring and installing artwork within the project as specified in the Zoning Code, Article 3, Division 21. The Agave development team worked collaboratively with the Skarstedt Gallery on the commissioning of an artwork by KAWS. With the development’s specific goal of providing local families an outdoor space to entertain and spend time together, the KAWS art sculpture with its modern and friendly nature will welcome residents and visitors with a clear signal that these gardens together with the public plaza, is a contemporary, first-class cosmopolitan place while being approachable, inclusive, and fun. The sculpture “Waiting” by KAWS is presented to the viewer with a sense of formality. Bearing resemblance to parent and child, the figures stand, unflinching – a protective hand resting on the small figure’s shoulder – as if prepared for a portrait. An interpretation of his COMPANION character, “Waiting” has also been created in an all-black, 16-foot bronze iteration as a public sculpture outside Detroit’s Library Street Collection Museum and in the brown colorway installed in front of The Greenpoint in Brooklyn, NY. The proposed piece for The Plaza Coral Gables, will be the third and final piece of the 16’ “Waiting” finished in a grey colorway. The cast-bronze sculpture is 144 inches tall and sits on a rectangular pedestal that is one-foot high. Situated in the main center stage area of the south lawn and facing NE toward the grass area, water feature, and ultimately Ponce Circle Park, the piece is visible from every location around the Plaza and serves as another welcome sign seen as far as Ponce de Leon Boulevard. Brooklyn-based artist KAWS engages audiences beyond museum and the galleries in which he exhibits. Over the last two decades KAWS has built a successful career with work that consistently shows his formal agility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times. The nature of his work possesses a sophisticated humor and thoughtful interplay with consumer products and collaborations with global brands. He often draws inspiration and appropriates pop-culture animations to form a unique artistic vocabulary for his works across various mediums. Now admired for his larger-than-life sculptures and hardedge paintings that emphasize line and color, KAWS’ cast of hybrid cartoon and human characters are perhaps the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity. KAWS has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and internationally, at the Brooklyn Museum, Doha Fire Station Museum, National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, High Museum of Art, Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, and more. The concept proposal is attached as Exhibit A to the proposed Resolution. The cost of the proposed art piece and installation is estimated to be $2,056,750 (two million, fifty-six thousand, seven hundred fifty dollars) which is less than the required 1% of the Project’s total art in public places fee estimate of $4,100,000 (four million, one hundred thousand dollars). The Developer has received approval of additional artworks and this artwork will complete the developer’s requirement regarding Art in Public Places. The Arts Advisory Panel and the Cultural Development Board voted unanimously to recommend artwork by the artist KAWS at their respective meetings on August 25, 2021, September 21, 2021 and November 16, 2021. The Developer is required to provide for the perpetual maintenance of the artwork, which will be the sole responsibility of the Developer, in accordance with a restrictive covenant entered into with the City of Coral Gables and following the Art in Public Places: Funding, Goals, and
Implementation Guidelines.”

City Manager Items

I-1: Discussion regarding the materials to be used on the exterior facade of the Mobility Hub. (TIME CERTAIN 10:00AM).

“The City is planning to demolish the existing Parking Garage 1 and build the new Mobility Hub at its current location of 245 Andalusia, one block south of Miracle Mile, between Salzedo Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard. The design of the project will include 9,688 sq. ft of ground floor lease space/flex, 8 floors of vehicle storage, and approximately 36,540 sq. ft. of activated rooftop terrace”

See article about the Mobility Hub.

I-2: A presentation of a maintenance action plan for the commercial areas of the City. (See presentation).

I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission amending the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 amended budget to recognize as revenue 1st quarter Coral Gables Impact Fee receipts as well as prior year receipts (Underline) and to appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of capital improvement infrastructure projects; and providing an effective date.

“In compliance with Ordinance 2007-27, as well as the revised impact fee schedule as approved in Resolution 2017-67, the City collects various impact fees to help fund capital improvement projects that qualify as enhancing services for residents, business owners and visitors. As of 11/29/21 staff has identified Fiscal Year 2021-2022 1st quarter receipts as well as prior year receipts (Underline) for the following impact fee categories: Service Fee & Inv. Earnings – $ 50,000 (To Minorca Garage); Police – $ 162,679 (To purchase Dispatch System); Fire – $ 130,850 (To Fire House 4); Municipal – $ 396,256 (To Minorca Garage); Parks – Land Purchase – 65% – $ 388,916 (To Land Purchase Project); Parks – Enhancement – 35% – $ 209,417 (To Phillips Park Project); Parks – Underline – $1,984,221 (To Underline Project); Mobility – $ 699,933 (To Minorca Garage); Mobility – Underline – $2,065,738 (To Underline Project). A budget amendment is required to recognize the receipts as revenue, and to appropriate such funds to put toward capital infrastructure projects that are consistent with the Coral Gables Impact Fee Ordinance mandating the appropriate use of the funds.”

I-4: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the City to act as host City and festival sponsor for the Junior Orange Bowl and authorizing the City’s in-kind contributions for the Junior Orange Bowl.

“The Junior Orange Bowl serves the South Florida community and all youth by providing competitive athletic, artist, and multicultural experiences and the inaugural Junior Orange Bowl Parade in 1948 proceeded through Coral Gables. The City has had a long standing relationship with the Junior Orange Bowl throughout the last seven decades and the City of Coral Gables wishes to be recognized as the host city of the Junior Orange Bowl for the 2021-2023 Junior Orange Bowl youth festival seasons. The City will contribute $33,250 annually during the term as host city and in return receive event recognition, marketing and branding at all festival events, and anticipates that the City will continue to see an impact from marking, social media, and events held throughout the City. The City will also provide certain in-kind contributions to the Junior Orange Bowl including staffing, barricades, and other contributions as determined by the City Manager or his designee.”

City Attorney Items

J-1: Hearing regarding decision by Retirement Board to Grant COLA to class members in Murhee V. City of Coral Gables, Case No. 13-20731 CA (13) (FLA. 11TH CIR. CT.) (treating GAP and opt outs in the same manner) – Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism. (TIME CERTAIN 11:30AM).

“At the Pension Board meeting of November 17, 2021, the Board voted to approve the 2022 COLA of 8% to Class Members as required by the COLA Lawsuit Settlement. Additionally, the Pension Board voted to approve the same 2022 COLA to GAP and Opt-Out Members. This memo is being provided in advance of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism Hearing to be held on December 7, 2021. In accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement, at the hearing, the City Commission, in its sole discretion may, by a supermajority 4/5 vote, reject the Retirement Board’s determination or reduce the amount of the proposed COLA. As the Finance Director of the City of Coral Gables, it is my recommendation that the City Commission reject the Board’s proposed 2022 COLA for Class Members, GAP and Opt-Out Members because it would increase the unfunded liability to over $217 million, increase our contribution requirements by $3.76 million and decrease our funded ratio by approximately 3%. Additionally, payment of this COLA would wipe out 96% of the progress we have made to date with the total extra payments made (total to date $29.1 million – COLA increase to unfunded $27.8 million) which has gone towards reducing our total
unfunded debt. My recommendation is based on the factors listed in the Ordinance (see attached Ordinance Sec. 8.3 A through G) that are to be considered by the City Commission in making its determination, specifically: A. The present value of the proposed COLA will exceed the net actuarial experience of the Retirement System. The current cumulative experience loss as of October 1, 2020 (since July 1, 1994) is approximately $194 million as of the 2020 Actuarial Valuation Report. B. The Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability (UAAL) is $189.7 million as of the Actuarial Valuation
Report as of October 1, 2020. The UAAL has decreased from the previous year by approximately $20.2 million. C. Providing for the 2022 COLA of 8% to Class Members, Opt-out Members and Gap Members would increase the current Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability of $189.7 million by $27.8 million to over $217.5 million and will increase the current annual required contribution of $22.9 million by $3.76 million to over $26.7 million. (See attached 2022 COLA determination letter) D. The last COLA was paid on May 7, 2018, per the terms of the settlement agreement. E. The COLA Lawsuit Settlement provided for a 2.975% COLA for 2013 and a .25% COLA for 2014, payable on May 7, 2018; this payment increased the UAAL by $14.5 million. F. The Net Actuarial Experience over the preceding seven years is a gain of $26,710,267(the sum of the individual years’ experience listed below). The single-year Actuarial Experience of the Retirement System for each of the seven years preceding the proposed COLA is as follows: 9/30/2020 $6,103,388 (gain); 9/30/2019 $469,094 (gain); 9/30/2018 $2,374,009 (gain); 9/30/2017 $8,574,453 (gain); 9/30/2016 $4,713,880 (gain); 9/30/2015 $3,038,952 (gain); and 9/30/2014 $1,436,491 (gain). G. The increase of the Consumer Price Index is 16.7% since the last granted COLA in January 2014. Factors A through E support rejection of the 2022 COLA as the cost associated with granting the COLA would adversely impact the Pension System (by increasing the funding requirement and decreasing the funded status). Although it is not one of the factors of consideration in the Ordinance, it should be noted that the City Commission has passed a resolution instituting a policy to budget a higher than required amount to the pension fund annually in order that the excess over the required contribution could be used to pay down the unfunded liability and increases funded status (currently at 68.7%) quicker than the normal amortization. The total annual payment amount that was budgeted for FY 2022 isjust under $30 million which allowed for an $6.8 million extra payment this past October. Since FY 2015, this has allowed for total additional funds of almost $29.1 million to be sent to the pension fund. Should the 2022 COLA be granted, 96% of the progress we’ve made thus far will be eaten up by granting this one COLA. Additionally, the annual required contribution would increase by over $3.7 million, and the extra payment would need to be reduced moving forward as the City’s Budget cannot absorb an additional $3.7 million hit. It is my recommendation that the City does not grant a COLA of any amount as the increase to the unfunded liability, the increase in the City’s funding requirement and a decrease to the funding status could adversely impact the Pension System. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact me.”

City Clerk Items

K-1: A Resolution of the City Commission officially accepting the City Clerk’s certification and declaration of the results of the Coral Gables Trial Board Election, held on November 12, 2021, which elected Anthony Newell for a two (2) year term beginning December 7, 2021 through December 31, 2023.

K-2: A Resolution of the City Commission in accordance with Section 2-30 of the City Code, entitled “Regular Meetings, Special Meetings,” setting forth the meeting dates through December 6, 2022, as follows: Tuesday, January 11, 2022; Tuesday, January 25, 2022; Tuesday, February 8, 2022; Tuesday, February 22, 2022; Tuesday, March 8, 2022; Tuesday, March 29, 2022; Tuesday, April 12, 2022; Tuesday, April 26, 2022; Tuesday, May 10, 2022; Wednesday, May 11, 2022 (Capital Projects and Priorities Workshop); Tuesday, May 31, 2022; Tuesday, June 14, 2022; Wednesday, June 15, 2022 (Project Selection and Funding Workshop); Tuesday, July 12, 2022; Wednesday, July 13, 2022 (Budget Workshop – Annual Budget Presentation); Tuesday, August 23, 2022; Tuesday, September 13, 2022; Tuesday, September 13, 2022; (Special Assessment Public Hearing – 3:00pm); Tuesday, September 13, 2022 (First Budget Hearing – 5:01pm); Tuesday, September 27, 2022; Tuesday, September 27, 2022; (Second Budget Hearing – 5:01pm); Tuesday, October 11, 2022; Tuesday, October 25, 2022; Tuesday, November 8, 2022; Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

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