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March 13, 2009
Spence-Jones gets her stadium payoff
In a tuneup for next Thursday morning's Florida Marlins stadium vote, the Miami city commission yesterday unanimously approved extending and expanding the Community Redevelopment Agency district that funnels property tax money to development projects in Overtown rather than having them go to the city's general fund. That would meet the condition set down by commission swing vote Michelle Spence-Jones in return for her support of the stadium deal. Of course, the tanking economy means the CRA district isn't expected to generate nearly as much money for Spence-Jones' district as she'd hoped — between $106 million and $140 million, according to Miami CFO Larry Spring, instead of the $500 million that was originally expected — but Spence-Jones has already said she'll take what she can get.
If all goes as expected, then, the city commission will approve the $600-million-plus stadium deal on Thursday, which will leave the plan in the hands of the county commission, which votes the following Monday. Some county commissioners have started expressing concerns about the looming shortfall in tax revenues that are supposed to pay for the stadium, but if anyone's actually done a headcount of whether these are enough to potentially vote down the deal, I haven't been able to find it.
At this point, I think it's reasonable to say that the City Commissioners are poised to go 3-2 in favor of the deal.
Here's what I'm still unsure about:
For the City of Miami, the 5 stadium contracts are Resolution 09-00132. The infrastructure deal is Resolution 09-00133. They split these items into separate resolutions because the infrastructure deal is a bid-waived contract that requires 4/5th approval.
In reading the .pdf of the "Construction Administration Agreement" (CAA) from the Commissioners website, if the bid waived contract for infrastructure is not approved, they city would have 30 days to RFP and select an alternate to perform the work.
But, in the 19Feb edition of Miami Today News, "Marlins Stadium bid rules posing new hurdle" County Manager George Burgess, the point person for the entire deal, warned that failure to approve Hunt/Moss as the contractor for the infrastructure agreement would result in the whole CAA to be renegotiated.
I wonder if this will lead to some posturing (maybe "additional" posturing would be more accurate).
If they commissioners approve the 5 contracts 3-2 then the infrastructure deal fails to get 4/5th what happens?
Do they scrap the whole deal as Burgess eludes?
Will Samson and Loria jump up and scream "too late! You already approved it!!" then run out of the building like a couple of thieves in the night?
Will Sarnoff end around and motion to vote on 09-00133 first?
Then, assuming it gets to the County Commissioners, exactly how many votes are required for each of the contracts?