Thursday, February 20, 2020

Tallahassee update - What monies are currently listed in House Bill 5001 - General Appropriations Act – a review of what is currently earmarked for our local Miami-Dade municipal communities –including Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Cutler Bay & Palmetto HS

Remember, nothing in the budget is final until the Governor signs the budget (after any line item vetoes) and please note: This post is part of an ongoing series and updates a PRIOR RELATED POST of February 6, 2020, Palmetto Bay legislative appropriations requests - Appropriations Project Request -Fiscal Year 2020-21

I have researched the pending appropriations bills and I am reporting on the local monies currently listed. Here are the highlights (click on the HB Numbers at right of each item listed immediately below to view the detailed documents relating to the specific Appropriations Project Request):

    100,000  Miami Palmetto Senior High School Athletic Field (HB 4987)
    250,000  Deering Estate Foundation’s Field Study Research Center Phase 2 (HB 2627)
    100,000  Cutler Bay Wetland Restoration Project (HB 3757)
    150,000  Homestead Automatic Flushing System (HB 3165)
    100,000  Palmetto Bay Sub-Basin 61 Construction (HB 3461)
    100,000  Pinecrest Stormwater Improvements (HB 3807)

Listed below is a larger current list of local monies currently provided for in House Bill 5001 - General Appropriations Act (HB 5001). Current listings for Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Doral, Homestead, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest are posted in BOLDFACE type below. This is merely the current list, everything is fluid in Tallahassee – The House and Senate have to agree on the budget – a budget conference will be held and then the joint budget is submitted to the Governor where staff goes through it with a fine tooth comb – this is where many items in the budget are removed through a line item veto. Only then, does the Governor approve the budget.

HB 5001 - General Appropriations Act: Provides moneys for annual period beginning July 1, 2020, & ending June 30, 2021, & supplemental appropriations for period ending June 30, 2020, to pay salaries & other expenses, capital outlay—buildings & other improvements, & for other specified purposes of various agencies of state government.
Effective Date: July 1, 2020

CLICK HERE to view all projects – search for the local projects - currently listed in HB 5001 as of 8:00 AM, Thursday, February 20, 2020 (again, subject to change):

Non-water projects:
1,000,000  City of Hialeah Educational Academy (HB 4499)
    250,000  Deering Estate Foundation’s Field Study Research Center Phase 2 (HB 2627)
    100,000  Miami Palmetto Senior High School Athletic Field (HB 4987)
    350,000  Doral Intersection Signalization Pedestrian Safety (HB 4201)

$30,002,907 is currently provided for in the House appropriations bill for "Grants and Aids to Local Governments and non-state entities ...." - commonly referred to as "water project money":

Water projects:
Listed as “From the funds in Specific Appropriation 1635A, $30,002,907 in nonrecurring funds from the General Revenue Fund is provided for the following water projects:”

    100,000  Aventura Curbing of Swale Flooding on Country Club Drive (HB 2875
    100,000  Bal Harbour Village Stormwater System Improvements (HB  2877)
    100,000  Coral Gables Canal Dredging (HB 2633)
    100,000  Coral Gables Comprehensive Inflow and Infiltration Program (HB 3035)
    200,000  Coral Gables Waterway Conveyance & Water Quality Imps (HB 3965)
    100,000  Cutler Bay Wetland Restoration Project (HB 3757)
    100,000  Doral Stormwater Improvements NW 89 Pl (25-20 St.) (HB 3205)
    170,000  Doral Stormwater Master Plan Update (HB 3447)
    100,000  El Portal Little River Septic to Sewer NE 2nd Avenue  Commercial (HB 3441)
    100,000  El Portal Sherwood Forest (NE 3rd Avenue) Little River Stormwater (HB 3417)
    150,000  Homestead Automatic Flushing System (HB 3165)
    150,000  Miami Beach Water Main Aerial Crossing MacArthur Causeway (HB 2539)
      20,000  Miami Gardens NW 159 Street Drainage Improvement Project (HB 3405)
      30,000  Miami Gardens NW 195 Street/NW 12 Ave Stormwater Drainage  (HB 3407)
1,000,000  Miami Lakes Loch Lomond Drainage Improvements Project (HB 3553)
1,000,000  Miami Lakes Royal Oaks Drainage Improvements Project (HB  3389)
    100,000  Miami Shores Village Shores Estates Drain Water System  (HB 3443)
    100,000  North Bay Village Treasure Island Pump Station (HB 2523)
    100,000  North Miami Beach Corona del Mar Phase II Sewer System (HB 2881)
    100,000  North Miami Beach NE 19th Ave Business District Sanitary Sewer System (HB 2883)
    100,000  North Miami Septic to Sewer Conversions (HB 3439)
    100,000  Palmetto Bay Sub-Basin 61 Construction (HB 3461)
    100,000  Pinecrest Stormwater Improvements (HB 3807)
    100,000  Sunny Isles Beach Golden Shores Pump Station (HB 2555)
    150,000  Virginia Gardens 37 Street Stormwater Improvements (HB 3751)
    150,000  Virginia Gardens 62 Ave & 40 Terr Stormwater/ADA  Improvements (HB 3401)
    200,000  West Miami Potable Water System Improvements Phase II (HB 3387)

Fair questions: Return on investment. How often are Palmetto Bay officials traveling to Tallahassee, how much 'quality time' are they spending in Tallahassee and what are the local taxpayers receiving in return? When I say "spending", I am looking to travel and related budget costs as well as time. 

We should consider whether the current Palmetto Bay Mayor and members of the Village Council are being realistic in their budget requests or are they merely star struck tourists spending the Village budget chasing sexy, but wholly unrealistic goals? Is work being done in Tallahassee or does the time spent amount to little more than the taking of self-promotional selfies, with no real substantive results? I’m not buying the scheme of this is all a set up for next year – that appears to be a self-repeating mantra for this current crew. Each and every budget year is unique – the State of Florida does not prepare rolling budgets.

Remember the original 2020-2021 appropriation requests from Palmetto Bay officials totaled $ 3,245,900. This is a HUGE request, a number that appears worthy of significant travel and constant advocating in Tallahassee, but not the $100,000 total that is currently earmarked in the State budget. 

The extensive travel time and expense does not appear to be an effective use of Palmetto Bay taxpayer dollars, especially when so many deadlines, e.g., blowing the downtown development moratorium, are being missed here in Palmetto Bay.

Or, some have asked me whether any of our electeds are traveling to Tallahassee at Palmetto Bay cost in order to chase other goals?  Interesting.

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