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Crash street flooding project on Council agenda

A million-dollar crash project to deal with some of Key Biscayne’s worst flooding locations tops the Village Council agenda Tuesday. 

The Council is also scheduled to get briefings from the island’s two representatives in the Florida Legislature, where the big post-session question is how Gov. Ron DeSantis will yield his line-item veto pen. 

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Village Manager Steve Williamson is asking for approval of a plan to make the village’s outdated drainage system work just a little better while the island gets ready for longer drainage fixes that are part of a $250 million series of resilience projects. 

Metro Express, Inc. was the low bidder for a series of projects that would modify catch basins, control sediments, and repitch the slopes of some roads to improve flow. The amount includes the contractor’s bid of $1 million and a 10% additional contingency. 

This diagram, attached to the agenda for the June 6, 2023 meeting of the Village Council, indicates the areas included for a $1 million crash project to lessen flooding on some streets in Key Biscayne (Village of Key Biscayne via KBI)

The other large contract up for discussion is a $444,000 custodial services agreement that’s an example of how service prices have changed after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Village had a combined custodial and maintenance contract with Coastal Building Maintenance, but could not agree on new terms after the contractor sought an increase. 

State Sen. Alexis Calatayud and State House Rep. Vicki Lopez are set to speak to some of Key Biscayne’s legislative priorities that are still awaiting action by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Both Republican lawmakers have endorsed DeSantis for president, but DeSantis hasn’t been shy about striking member project items in the past. 

One question that has been on the minds of Council members has been House Bill 718, which contains a provision that could upend Key Biscayne’s referendum requirement for zoning code changes. Both representatives supported it, but the measure has not yet been sent to DeSanits for signature. Village Attorney Chad Friedman has not yet rendered an opinion on what the bill would mean for the island if it is signed by the governor. 

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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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