|HOME NEWS PHOTOS VIDEOS DIRECTORY RESTAURANTS HOTELS CITY HALL REAL ESTATE POLICE REPORTS EVENTS FESTIVAL GOLF HISTORY MSSH ALUMNI FORUM|
|- - - - - - - The 2015 River Cities Festival returns April 10 - 12. Click here to learn more! - - - - - - -|
10 Things You Should Know About the New Pool
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pool Debate Video Highlight: Nestor Suarez' Speech and Mayoral Response (14 min)
|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|
MiamiSprings.com: All Things Miami Springs
MiamiSprings.com has news, events, photos, business listings, online forum discussions and just about everything related to Miami Springs. MiamiSprings.com is the
"Original" Miami Springs community web site serving the Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens, and Airport Area since 1997. MiamiSprings.com is operated by Florida Web Marketing, Inc.
Copyright 1997-2015 Florida Web Marketing, Inc.