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Political Forum Comments:

Comment
The reckless spending is the cause of the drastic tax increase. Next year will be even worse if the same group is attempting to run the city. Change is neededIP = 108.244.200.39


18.5% tax increase since 2010 is true.
2013 operating millage is 7.6710. 2012 operating millage is 6.9950. Thats a 9.66% increase in one year. 2011 Operating Millage 6.7400. Thats a 13.8% increase in two years. 2010 operating millage is 6.471. Thats a 18.5% increase. The numbers are accurate and on point. the source is miamidade.gov. Do you have different operating millages than these? If so, present and source. IP = 99.127.96.123


Re Nestor
Get over yourself! Nestor has MADE NO personal attacks on Garcia or his family! On the other hand the Garcia camp has strewn such b s about everyone that doesn-t agree with them! ENOUGH with your lies. If you can-t stand the heat get out of the kitchen! IP = 73.46.85.241


Nestor
Nestor, if you are truly interested in fair reporting then remove that 18.5% gfrom the headline. Its wrong and a lie. The correct number is 10.5%, either change the number or just say taxes increased under the current Mayor and dont use any numbers. Just report the right facts. IP = 108.249.165.100


Nestor
God Bless You.IP = 98.254.65.170


Featured Photo:
Miami Springs July 4th Parade 2009

Click here to view more Miami Springs photos.

 

Relay For Life of Miami Springs Virginia Gardens
3/7/2015 - 54 Curtiss Parkway


Election Day
4/7/2015 - Miami Springs Golf & Country Club


River Cities Festival Day 1
4/10/2015 - 1 Curtiss Parkway, Miami Springs, FL


Festival Opening Ceremony
4/10/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Room Service
4/10/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Mr. Nice Guy Band Live at the Festival
4/10/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Blue Fire Band Live at the Festival
4/10/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


River Cities Festival Day 2
4/11/2015 - 1 Curtiss Parkway, Miami Springs, FL


Hip Hop Kids
4/11/2015 - Circle Stage


Miami Springs River Ride
4/11/2015 - Miami River - Catwalk Dock


Barefoot Jax LIVE at the Festival
4/11/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


The Dropouts
4/11/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Push
4/11/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Silent Addictions
4/11/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


2015 Miami Springs Senior High MEGA Reunion
4/11/2015 - Canal Street behind the old theather


Mojo Scoundrels
4/11/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


The Regs
4/11/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


River Cities Festival Day 3
4/12/2015 - 1 Curtiss Parkway, Miami Springs, FL


Ricky Valido & The Hialeah Hillbillies
4/12/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Paul Messina Band
4/12/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Award Ceremonies
4/12/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Viva
4/12/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


Eclipse
4/12/2015 - Miami Springs Circle


10 Things You Should Know About the New Pool

EDITORIAL

Recently, you probably received a "Special Edition" of the Springs Connection brochure published by the City of Miami Springs. The glossy 4 page color brochure mailed to all Miami Springs residents includes FAQs on 19 items. Below, you'll find 10 things the city did not include in the brochure we thought should be shared with the Miami Springs community.

1. The Miami Springs Golf Course Debt will be paid off in three years.

In an email from the Finance Director of Miami Springs, William Alonso, dated on September 16th regarding the golf course debt states that the "Last payment under the note is scheduled for February 2018, however we expect to pay it off at beginning of fiscal year (October 2017).

This leads to the question, why take on more debt now? Why not finish paying for the golf course before taking on new debts on the pool? Doesn't it make sense to finish paying off one major purchase before taking on another major purchase?

2. How Many Miami Springs Residents Filled Out the Online and Paper Survey?

The City of Miami Springs is justifying the design of the new pool based on 309 paper and online survey submissions. But the City does not know how many of those survey submissions came from Miami Springs residents. How many came from people outside of Miami Springs? How many were submitted by the same person over and over? The survey was not conducted by an auditor or accounting firm, but by the pool consultant using an online survey tool called Survey Monkey. That tool allows anyone in the world to submit the survey results as many times as they want.

In other words, the city has no clue on whether the survey results really reflected the wishes of the residents of Miami Springs. As far as we know, the pool consultant himself could have filled out the survey dozens of times. The reality is, nobody knows who filled out the surveys or where they came from.


3. Compare the Current Pool to the New Pool Design

The City of Miami Springs did not put a side by side comparison of the current pool versus the proposed pool. So I did it for you (see below). You'll see the Pool / Wet Area of the new aquatic center is nearly 40% smaller than the current pool we have, yet it has a pool deck that is over 80% larger. The existing pool only has one building that stands at 4,500 square feet. The new pool design includes three buildings for a total of 9,737 square feet. Yes, that's more than double the amount of building space for a pool that's almost 40% smaller.

The extra Rec / Multi-Use Pool Building alone is estimated to cost $623,000. The City is justifying the need to build this based on the survey results of 309 anonymous posts.

Miami Springs Pool Facts

 

4. What does the City lose with the new Aquatic Center?

Say goodbye to Miami Springs aquatic sports as we know it. With only 4 lap lanes, you will no longer see swim meets or competitive swimming in Miami Springs. No more Water Polo for the next 50 years.

There isn't now nor has there ever really been just one Miami Springs swim team. There have always been multiple teams. Here are some of the different teams that have used the current pool that will need to use a different facility for meets and/or training.

  • Miami Springs Senior High Boys Swim Team
  • Miami Springs Senior High Girls Swim Team
  • Miami Springs Senior High Boys Water Polo Team
  • Miami Springs Senior High Girls Water Polo Team
  • Miami Springs Middle School Swim Team
  • Private Youth Swim Club
  • Private Adult Masters Swimming

To continue to support the above listed teams and competitive swimming the City would need 8 lanes.

 

5. Business Plan

In the recent FAQ mailed out by the City it stated, "Once the final design/build plan has been selected and approved, the City will develop revenue / expense projections."

Shouldn't you come up with a business plan first before committing to building an extra $623,000 building? Who commissions an architect to come up with a building design before having a business plan? Unfortunately, that's exactly what the City is doing.

 

6. The City CAN build a Competitive Hybrid Swimming Pool Under $5 Million

In a June 16, 2014 presentation to the City of Miami Springs, there was a proposal called "CONCEPT 2" which included a 25 Yard by 25 Meter Pool and a bonus 1,820 Sq Ft Pool for $5.88 million. If you take that original Concept 2 cost and remove $623,000 from the extra (and I believe unnecessary building) you're down to $5.257 million. By merging the two pools into the cost saving "Hybrid Pool" and removing some of the fat (excessive decking, cabanas, etc) you could trim this concept to less than $5 million.

Concept 2

 

7. You should be able to see what the new pool looks like compared to the existing pool.

I'm not sure why, but the City didn't include a single picture of the new pool design concept in their flyer. Well, in case you haven't seen it, the new pool design concept is pictured below on the right. On the far left is the existing pool design. And in the center is a Photoshopped version (I created) of the pool with 8 lanes to support competitive swimming, but without the extra $623,000 Rec / Multi-Use building that still doesn't have a business plan to support its operation.

8. Our Taxes Are Among the Highest In The County

Okay, I know you already knew this one, but it bares repeating. We already pay one of the highest tax rates in Miami-Dade County. Last year, the City of Miami Springs raised the tax rate by nearly 10%. Instead of incurring this new debt now, shouldn't we pay for the golf course first? By building the pool now, we're guaranteed to continue to have a high tax rate for the foreseeable future.

 

9. The City's Reserves are Shrinking

In a Letter to the Editor in the River Cities Gazette published October 16th, Owen Gay highlighted the City's reserves and corresponding millage rate. According to his letter, the City had a surplus of $8.42 million in 2009. In 2013, our surplus had shrunk down to $3.69 million. That's a surplus consumption rate of over $1 million per year. At that rate, the City will have no surplus in under 4 years.

 

10. Resort Style Pool

During the presentations by Bermello, the pool consultant, he referred to the design of the pool as a "Resort Style Pool". He also stated the design would have a "Hospitality Feel." Why that was not included in the flyer?

Do the residents want a Resort Style Pool or a Community Pool?

 

11. It's Not Too Late!

The City may want you to believe it's too late to make any changes. It's too late to pause this project.

Well, it's not too late. The residents of Miami Springs pay the taxes. The residents of Miami Springs choose their representatives. And the residents of Miami Springs have a right to have their voices and concerns addressed by the City.

This Wednesday, the City has a Special Council Meeting (no open forum) to review the status of the draft Design Build Criteria Package from Bermello & Ajamil. Then, the Council will determine whether to authorize an issuance of the RFP for the Aquatic Facility.

I urge you to stay tuned to MiamiSprings.com as we continue to update you on this project as well as future opportunities to address the City Council.

 

Sincerely,

Nestor Suarez
Publisher / Owner
www.MiamiSprings.com

 

 


 

 

 

Pool Debate Video Highlight: Nestor Suarez' Speech and Mayoral Response (14 min)

Click to watch entire 3 hour video

 



 


Springs Taxes Up Nearly 10%

On Monday, September 23rd, 2013, the Miami Springs City Council passed the fiscal budget for 2013 - 2014. It included an increase in the millage rate from 6.9950 to 7.6710. That equates to a 9.66% tax increase.

However, not everyone agreed to the budget in the 4 to 1 vote. Councilman and former mayor, Billy Bain, voted no. Michael Windrem, Zavier Garcia, George Lob, and Jaime Petralanda all voted for the budget during Monday's final budget meeting.

To put the 7.6710 millage rate in perspective, you can compare the Miami Springs millage rate to the proposed millage rates from our neighboring communities:

City Millage Rate Comparison
Doral 2.2215 72% lower tax rate than Miami Springs
Sweetwater 2.9200 62% lower tax rate than Miami Springs
Hialeah Gardens 5.3812 31% lower tax rate than Miami Springs
Medley 5.4000 30% lower tax rate than Miami Springs
VG 5.4233 29% lower tax rate than Miami Springs
Coral Gables 5.6290 27% lower tax rate than Miami Springs
Hialeah 6.3018 19% lower tax rate than Miami Springs
Miami Springs 7.6710  

Comment on the 2013 - 2014 budget and the corresponding tax increase on the Miami Springs political forum.



BDC Construction Miami

Taste of Cuba Festival at Hialeah Park Fred Suco for Mayor of Miami Springs



2013 Miami Springs July 4th Parade



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