Agenda Digest: Commission Meeting (2/15/2022)

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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On February 15, 2022, 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, February 15th 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: A special appearance by County Commissioner District 7, Raquel Regalado to discuss latest district initiatives.

D-2: An update relating to a Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) resolution which provides the scope of services and the budget required to conduct a study along U .S. 1 from SW 27th Avenue to SW 72nd Street.

E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the Coral Gables Community Foundation to work in conjunction with the Parking Department during the annual “Tour of Kitchens” Fundraiser on Saturday, March 5, 2022, for the parking needs of the homes that will be on the tour. (Specifically, but not limited to the following streets: Segovia Avenue, Milan Avenue, Venetia Avenue, Alhambra Circle, Hernando Street, University Drive, South Greenway Drive and San Vicente Street). (Sponsored by Vice Mayor Mena).

“The Coral Gables Community Foundation was established in September 1991 by community leaders and since its creation has awarded over 4 million dollars to worthy causes. Through its discretionary, donor-advised, and scholarship funds the organization has helped youth, elderly, and disabled persons, and has provided dental care for needy children, sponsored cultural activities, awarded academic, dance, and music scholarships, and offered seminars to educate the public on important health, finance, and estate-planning issues. A nonprofit §501(c)(3) organization, the mission of the Coral Gables Community Foundation is to foster programs and initiatives that enhance the quality of life for people living and working in the City Beautiful. The annual Tour of Kitchens is one of the Foundation’s largest, most popular, and most successful events. With the purchase of a ticket, participants can tour some of the Gables’ greatest homes and kitchens. The Tour is a fundraising event for the Coral Gables Community Foundation and the Culinary Arts Program at Coral Gables Senior High School.”

E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing Make-A-Wish Southern Florida to sell alcoholic beverages at the parking lot located on 1559 Sunset Drive and on San Ignacio Avenue from Red Road to Yumuri Street on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022 beginning at 11:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. during the “Wings For Wishes” event, to benefit the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements; and authorizing the waiver of special fees, parking fees, and barricade fees for the event. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“The City Commission wishes to grant permission to Make-a-Wish Southern Florida, to serve alcoholic beverages during the ‘Wings for Wishes’ event, subject to adherence to the laws of the State of Florida, at the date and time detailed in the Resolution. The City Commission also wishes to waive the City’s special event fees, parking fees, and barricade fees for the ‘Wings for Wishes’ event on April 2, 2022.”

E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award RFQ 2021-031 for Preservation Architectural Consulting Services and negotiate a professional services agreement (“agreement”) with R.J Heisenbottle Architects P.A., Gurri Matute P.A., R.E. Chisholm Architects, Inc. and Rodriguez & Quiroga Architects.

“The City’s Public Works department requires a pool of qualified architectural consulting firms, with the ability to provide architectural and engineering design services with an emphasis in historic preservation. The firms should also have the ability of project management, contracting and sourcing, cost analysis/schedule planning and design services for furniture, fixtures, and equipment. The ability for construction contract administration, site analysis and construction, landscape architecture, and site planning sustainable design will also be required. The requirement of code analysis, public art, project reviews and move and occupancy planning is also required. The services shall reflect the community’s and City’s importance on preserving the historic and natural environmental which are long-standing traditions. On October 13, 2021, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued, and distributed Preservation Architectural Consulting Services, RFQ 2021-031. On October 20, 2021, a non-mandatory pre-qualification conference was held with eight (8) proposers in attendance of the fifty-eight (58) prospective proposers who downloaded the RFQ package from Public Purchase, the City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On November 15, 2021, four (4) firms submitted proposals in response to the RFQ; Gurri Matute P.A., R.E. Chisholm Architects, Inc., R.J. Heisenbottle Architects P.A. and Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects Charted. On January 21, 2022, the Evaluation Committee convened to evaluate the four (4) responsive proposals and recommended to award the RFQ and negotiate a Professional Services Agreement (“Agreement”) with: R.J. Heisenbottle Architects P.A., Gurri Matute P.A., R.E. Chisholm Architects, Inc., and Rodriguez & Quiroga Architects Charted, as advertised in the solicitation. The Public Works Department and Chief Procurement Officer recommends accepting the Evaluation Committee’s recommendation.”

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission adopting the updated Title VI Program for the City of Coral Gables Trolley Service.

“Title VI is part of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in the conduct of services and programs that receive federal funds. It is the Federal Transit Administration’s (“FTA”) position that the City is required to adopt a “Title VI Program” for its trolley services because the City has one (1) trolley that was purchased with federal funds (purchased by Miami-Dade County and then provided to the City). The FTA requires that the Title VI Program be updated every three (3) years. The City has updated its Title VI Program in accordance with FTA requirements and the Program is attached as Exhibit 1 to the Resolution.”

E-5: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing free parking for Participants (in Garage 4) and a waiver for the $5562.00 cost of renting fifty-nine (59) parking spaces along Biltmore Way and parking for participants in Garage 4 for the 2022 Coral Gables Walk MS Scheduled for April 2, 2022.

“The Coral Gables Walk MS has taken place in Coral Gables for more than thirty (30) years. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2022 from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is expected to draw 450 four hundred and fifty participants. A letter from Ashlyn Brown Event Production Specialist, Walk MS for the South Florida Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society requesting free parking for participants in Garage four (4) and a waiver for any payment of parking meters is attached. The requested waiver is for fifty-nine (59) metered spaces. The standard fee for fifty-nine (59) meter spaces for one (1) day is $1062.00 and the parking rate in Garage four (4) is $2 per hour (450 x $10[5hrs9am-1pm]$4500).”

E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the City Manager to extend a Maintenance and Service Agreement in Parking Garages 2, 4 and 6 with WPS USA CORP for maintenance and service of the Parking and Revenue Control Equipment and consolidate the start and end dates of Parking Garages 1, 2, 4 and 6 maintenance agreements.

“In 2015 City of Coral Gables purchased and installed a new parking and revenue control system (PARCS) for Garage 2 and Garage 6 from WPS Corp USA. In 2017, a new system was purchased and installed in Garage 1 and in 2018 a new system was purchased and installed in Garage 4. The PARCs system is used to manage traffic and transactions annually in the city’s four public parking garages. At the end of each installation, the city entered into a five-year maintenance and service agreement with the vendor. The city is interested in combining the maintenance and service agreements for all four garages and extending the agreement with WPS through fiscal year 2024. The maintenance and service agreement with WPS will be in a form like the draft agreement attached that is mutually acceptable to the City Manager and City Attorney. That total cost of the maintenance and service agreement for Garage 2, 4 and 6 for 2023 will be Sixty-Four Thousand Seven Hundred Forty-Eight Dollars ($64,748); for 2024 will be Sixty-Five Thousand Seven Hundred Twenty-Six Dollars ($65,726).”

E-7: A Resolution of the City Commission appointing Laura Kelly (Nominated by Commissioner Anderson) to serve as a member of the Emergency Management Division, for a two (2) year term which began on June 1, 2021 and continues through May 31, 2023.

E-8: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing Fritz & Franz Bierhaus to sell alcoholic beverages on Thursday, March 17, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Bierhaus Plaza located at 60 Merrick Way, during the “St. Patrick’s Day Block Party” event, subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements.

“This resolution is for Fritz & Franz Bierhaus to sell alcoholic beverages on Thursday, March 17, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Bierhaus Plaza located at 60 Merrick Way, during the “St. Patrick’s Day Block Party” event, subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements. This request has been reviewed by the City’s Special Events Committee.”

E-9: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing temporary encroachments into the public right-of-way relating to the temporary installation of two floating treatment wetlands in City waterways.

“A Florida International University Department of Earth and Environment Ph.D. student (“Applicant”) has approached the City regarding a project which proposes the installation, for approximately fourteen weeks, of two floating treatment wetlands in the City waterways. The proposed temporary encroachments consist of the installation of two approximately twenty-four foot by four foot floating wetlands to be placed in the City’s waterways at two locations agreeable to the City. These temporary encroachments may provide additional information regarding the health of the City’s waterways and will assist in the advancement of scientific information.”

Presentation of Boards and/or Committees draft/final minutes requesting action from the City Commission [Note: A vote to accept the minutes does not mean approval of the substance within the minutes]

2-1: A Resolution from the Historic Preservation Board requesting that the City Commission adopt a Resolution authorizing Ad Valorem tax relief for the property located at 936 Castile Avenue, a Contributing Resource within the Castile Avenue / Plaza Historic District, legally described as Lot 8, Peacock Re-Subdivision, according to the Plat thereof, as recorded in Plat Book 35, at Page 60 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. (Historic Preservation Board Meeting of December 15, 2021, Vote: 8-0, one member absent). (TIME CERTAIN 10:30AM).

“On December 15, 2021, the Historic Preservation Board unanimously (8-0) passed a motion to recommend approval of the application as presented. This application is associated with the related Special Certificate of Appropriateness, COA (SP) 2015-007, which was granted design approval by the Historic Preservation Board on August 20, 2015.”

Emergency Ordinances

F-1: An Emergency Ordinance of the City Commission amending Section 3-600 of the Zoning Code to create Section 3-612 “Covid-19 Testing Site Temporary Use Permit” to allow for the siting of Covid-19 testing, vaccination, and treatment sites operated by Federal, State, or Local Government Agencies through February 15, 2023; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: N/A.

“Due to the prevalence of variants of Novel Coronavirus Disease-2019 (“Covid-19”), there continues to be demand for Covid-19 testing, vaccination, and treatment within the City. The City has received requests from federal, state, and/or local government agencies seeking to open and operate temporary Covid-19 testing, vaccination, and treatment sites on property located within the City. The proposed ordinance would establish a process for the issuance of temporary use permits for such sites to allow federal, state, or local government agencies (or through their respective contractors) to satisfy the continued demand for Covid-19 testing by allowing such sites to operate on surface parking lots or vacant lots in temporary structures. Given the emergency nature of Covid-19, the ongoing and immediate demand for local testing, vaccination, and treatment options, and that the City is in receipt of requests to operate such temporary testing sites, the proposed emergency ordinance would immediately authorize the City Manager to provide for the review and approval of temporary use permits for Covid-19 testing sites operated by federal, state, or local government agencies, or their contractors, through February 15, 2023.”

Ordinances On Second Reading

F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission authorizing the City to enter into a Lease with SRA Coral Gables Restaurant, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, dba SRA. Martinez with regard to the City-owned property 2325 Galiano Street, Coral Gables, Fl 33134 for a period of fifteen (15) years and with two (2) additional, five-year renewal options, at the City’s discretion; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: N/A.

“In May of 2020, the City of Coral Gables (the “Landlord”) ended its Lease with the previous tenant for the City-owned property at 2325 Galiano Street, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (the “Premises”). Since then, the Economic Development Department (the “Department”) has been marketing the Premises in search of an experienced restauranteur with a chef-driven restaurant/entertainment concept. The ideal tenant also needed to have had a leading role in the design/execution of restaurant build-out project(s) of similar size and/or complexity given that the Premises needed a full renovation/build-out. Between May 2020 and August 2021, the Department showed the Premises to over twenty-five (25) interested parties and reviewed three (3) proposals with the City Manager who selected SRA Coral Gables Restaurant, LLC dba SRA. Martinez (the “Tenant”) as the proposed Tenant for the Premises.” (Full details can be read on the cover memo to the Commission by clicking here).

Ordinances On First Reading

F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Coral Gables by amending Chapter 6, Section 6-3, “Retail beverage store and retail liquor store licenses issued for to bona fide restaurants” to allow restaurants of 150 seats or over to serve alcoholic beverages or intoxicating liquors from bars; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: N/A.

“As directed by the City Manager, Staff has prepared text amendments to the City Code to allow restaurants with 150 seats or more to serve alcoholic beverages or intoxicating liquors from bars. The current regulation requires restaurants to have 200 seats or over in order to serve alcoholic beverages or intoxicating liquors from bars.”

City Commission Items

G-1: Discussion regarding existing signage on privately owned public surface parking lots. (Sponsored by Vice Mayor Mena).

G-2: Discussion regarding the possible temporary art installation to Downtown Coral Gables in order to raise awareness for Developmental Disabilities Month this March (in partnership with The Wow Center and Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera). (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

G-3: Discussion regarding a pop-up beer garden at Farmer’s Market. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

G-4: Discussion to review the technical performance of the Zoom platform as it is being implemented to facilitate remote appearances at public meetings, including resident boards. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

G-5: Discussion regarding audit practices and procedures for city-owned properties. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

G-6: Discussion regarding potential updates to landscaper education procedures in connection with landscaper permits. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

G-7: Discussion regarding payment of surface parking fees at the Biltmore Hotel. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

G-8: Discussion regarding the donation of a drone and punching bag. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

G-9: An update from staff on stormwater catch basins and grates. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

G-10: A Resolution of the City Commission adopting a policy regarding City Commission review of renovations to existing City owned and/or operated surface parking lots and review of proposed construction of new City owned and/or operated surface parking lots. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

“The City Commission has expressed an interest in reviewing all proposed renovations of existing or construction of new City owned and/or operated City surface parking lots. This proposed policy provides that when the City is contemplating significant renovations to existing City owned and/or operated surface parking lot or proposed construction of new surface parking lots the City will appropriately document those proposed new lots or proposed renovations and notify the Commission members of those plans at their scheduled 40-percent review submittal. City Commission members will then be able to place those proposed renovations on a future City Commission meeting agenda for discussion by the entire City Commission.”

City Manager Items

I-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing staff to negotiate with TD Bank, N.A. or the lender that offers the next lowest rate to provide a loan for the refinancing of the City ’s loans from the Sunshine State Governmental Financing Commission dated April 28, 2016; providing certain other matters in connection therewith; and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: N/A. (TIME CERTAIN 11:00AM).

“The City has determined that it is in its best interest to refinance the loans from the Sunshine State Governmental Financing Commission dated April 28, 2016 (the “Refunded Obligations”) to provide debt service savings. The City’s Financial Advisor, PFM Financial Advisors LLC, on behalf of and at the request of the City, requested interest rate quotes from multiple financial institutions for a loan that would provide the City with the necessary funds to refinance the Refunded Obligations. TD Bank, N.A. submitted a bank proposal to provide the City with a loan at the most favorable terms and conditions. Staff, upon recommendation of the Financial Advisor, recommends the award of the loan to TD Bank, N.A. See attached Recommendation Memorandum from the Financial Advisor providing for a taxable interest rate of 2.59% and a tax-exempt conversion rate of 2.12% offered by the bank which would provide the City with approximately$150,000 in net present value savings. The maturity of the existing debt will not change.”

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation to begin the Country Club employee hiring process and to waive the competitive process of the procurement code for all purchases related to the Coral Gables country Club as Special Procurement/Bid Waiver, pursuant to Section 2-691 of the City’s Procurement Code. (TIME CERTAIN 11:15AM).

“At the January 25, 2022 City Commission meeting, the Commission approved the decision to engage the Community Recreation Department (Parks) for the management of the Country Club. Due to the urgency and the number of critical matters that must be addressed, approval to begin with the hiring process and a bid waiver (BW 2022-047) are being requested so the necessary supplies, equipment and services can expeditiously be put in place. The expectation is for the City to assume the management of the facility and all operations by May 2022. This initial approval of the City Commission is to move forward with the process with a budget amendment for all Country Club expenditures to follow in a future City Commission meeting upon final approval of the operation plan. This waiver will cover the initial twelve (12) month management period to allow Community Recreation to directly purchase all goods, supplies and equipment, engage vendors for services and facilitate any necessary leases for the continuity of services. Section 2-691 of the Procurement Code entitled “Special Procurement/Bid Waiver” authorizes the Procurement Officer to initiate a special procurement/bid waiver when an unusual or unique situation exists that makes the application of all requirements of competitive sealed bidding or competitive sealed proposal contrary to the public interest.”

I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing a change order to RFQ 2021-010 mobility Hub Pre-Construction & Construction CMR Services for the new state of the art Mobility Hub with the Weitz Company, LLC, pursuant to section 2-764 (b), approval of change orders and contract modifications, of the City’s Procurement Code in estimated amount of $1,500,000 for additional work to be performed. Lobbyist: N/A.

“For the successful delivery of the Mobility Hub project the city took the approach to engage a Pre Construction Manager that would play a key role in identifying issues in the design of the project, provide alternative ideas thereto, and to expedite construction in order to minimize construction-related problems and delays, and to deliver the project in accordance with City’s budget and City’s time requirements The Weitz Company, LLC (Weitz) was selected and is responsible for performing pre-construction services that includes value engineering tasks, construction reviews, and providing cost estimates for the project to minimize the risk of change orders in the construction of the Project related to unforeseen conditions and constructability issues and to maximize the possibility of the timely completion of the Project In consideration for the many tasks and phases of the project, a project schedule was initially submitted by Weitz that included demolition; however due to unknown factors prior to the start of the project, the specific costs for the services were not included in the management agreement. And since Weitz is engaged to perform as the Construction Manager at Risk for the project, the city feels they are the best suited to perform the demolition work required. Approval of this change order will allow the present project to continue as schedule and prevent in delays in the construction schedule. In addition to the amount listed below, this item is requesting permission to move forward with any other work identified in this process in order to stay on track with delivering this construction project on schedule. Under Section 2-764(b) of the Procurement Code, the City Commission shall approve all change orders or contract modifications for construction.”

City Attorney Items

J-1: Discussion regarding the City’s potential involvement in a class action suit relating to the increased price of Insulin.

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