WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2008

 

Budget For Next Year Is Approved

The Coral Gables City Commission approved the proposed budget of approximately $144 million dollars for the fiscal year that begins October 1. The property value millage rate will remain constant at 5.250. City officials made a point of explaining that the City’s annual financial reporting undergoes a stringent review process by independent accounting and auditing professionals. The annual report, which describes in detail what the City of Coral Gables will be budgeting for each department, is audited by a national accounting firm and reviewed by the Auditor General. This financial report is also separately reviewed by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), an independent organization that evaluates the document for compliance to national accounting standards. The GFOA has awarded the City of Coral Gables a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the last 17 consecutive years.

Coral Gables Museum To Break Ground

The City of Coral Gables and the Coral Gables Museum Corporation invite the public to the groundbreaking ceremony of the Coral Gables Museum. The event takes place tomorrow Thursday, October 2 at 4 p.m. at the Old Police and Fire Station, on the corner of Aragon Avenue and Salzedo Street. The ceremony is the culmination of years of work which began in 1995 to create the first City museum. In 2003, the Coral Gables Museum Corporation was formed to direct and operate the facility. The City’s Historical Resources Department applied for and received over $1.5 million in state and county grants to rehabilitate the building. In 2005, the Museum Corporation began to raise additional funds, and through the grant funding, the architectural firm of Jorge L. Hernandez was hired for the project. Eventually, the Museum Corporation determined that additional space would be necessary to make the museum a viable institution. The City agreed, and a new and separate 3,000 square foot gallery space was designed, in addition to a beautiful 5,000 square foot public plaza, both of which will be located in the surface parking lot currently behind the Old Police and Fire Station. Scheduled to open in 2010, the Museum will host gallery spaces, a community room, museum and City offices, the city’s archives and a research library.

Ponce De Leon Entrance To Be Dedicated

The Coral Gables Garden Club cordially invites the public to attend the dedication of the Ponce de Leon Entrance on Tuesday, October 14, at 4 p.m. The grand entrance is located on Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Southwest Eighth Street. This is the third City entrance the Garden Club has helped built with donations from local citizens and the help from City workers after committing to build entrances that founder George Merrick was unable to complete. The entrance has arches on either side of the sidewalk on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, the clock tower in the median, and two pillars of light on the sidewalk that compliment the classic style of the City.

City Is First To Use PDAs For On-site Inspections

Inspectors with the Building and Zoning Department are now using PDAs, handheld devices that combine computing, telephone and internet, plus laptops to conduct inspections in a more efficient manner. The City of Coral Gables is the first municipality in Miami-Dade County to use PDAs to conduct inspections. All mechanical, plumbing, structural and electrical inspectors along with code enforcement officers now access permit inspection software, forms and documents on PDAs that compliment the laptops secured in their vehicles. Notes and explanations if necessary can be typed directly into the online system instead of the inspector handwriting tedious notes. PDAs are the perfect size when inspectors visit construction sites and hi-rises. All forms are also accessible on the PDA and the addition of a built-in camera gives the officials flexibility to document discrepancies or issues on the site. By using this wireless electronic system, City officials can post the results of the permit inspections and any pertinent information instantly online. Permit applicants just log on to Online Services through the City’s website, www.coralgables.com, to view the information. To date, more than 3,000 people have used the Online Services webpage, a service launched in July, making it easier and faster for applicants to check permits status online.

Keep Your Garage Doors Closed

The Coral Gables Police Department is working with neighboring law enforcement agencies to solve a home invasion robbery which occurred in Coral Gables.  This case is similar to others that have occurred in the neighboring jurisdictions.  The suspect enters the home through an open garage door, and confronts the homeowner with a gun demanding property.  The victim’s vehicle is taken by the suspect. All investigative leads in this case are currently being pursued at this time. If you are home during the day, the Coral Gables Police Department recommends that you keep your garage door closed and remember to lock all of your doors.  Residents are asked to contact the Coral Gables Police Department immediately if any suspicious vehicles or persons are observed in their neighborhood.  The Coral Gables Police Department main line for non-emergencies is 305-442-1600.

Green Your Commute, November 10-14  

The City of Coral Gables and South Florida Commuter Services want you to “Green Your Commute” during the week of November 10-14. Leave your car at home and make a difference during this week by using the Coral Gables Trolley or any other form of public transportation to help save the planet. If you commit to leave your car at home for at least one day during November 10-14, participants are eligible to win great prizes such as a Hawks Cay Resort getaway. Event organizers are also looking for additional green sponsors that will participate in this event providing food, refreshments or giveaways. If interested, please send an email to e-news@coralgables.com.

Chambers Of Commerce Unite For Turks & Caicos

At the last Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting, more than 300 business leaders and City representatives gathered at the Biltmore Hotel to witness the installation of new board members and to listen to Mayor Don Slesnick give the State of the City address. Tina Fenimore, president of the Providenciales Chamber of Commerce made an appearance at the meeting to talk about the devastation of the islands of Turks and Caicos, specifically of Salt Cay, South Caicos and Grand Turk, after Ike hit the shores as a Category 4 hurricane. A tearful Fenimore described the island’s situation as “seven square miles of total devastation.” Fenimore is organizing relief efforts for Turks and Caicos and is calling on donations and supplies which will be delivered to the affected areas. Non-perishable food, baby formula, diapers, toiletries, clothing, building materials, and water are some of the items that are needed. All interested in making donations can contact Fenimore at 786-866-7723 or 786-290-6199 or via email at tinafenimore@gmail.com or www.provochamber.com.

No Parking Of Dilapidated Vehicles On City Swales

In order to maintain the City’s swale areas in an orderly and aesthetic fashion, the City of Coral Gables approved an amendment to the Zoning Code related to vehicles which are decayed, deteriorated or have fallen into partial ruin through neglect or misuse. A recent increase in the number of junk and dilapidated vehicles that are parked in swale areas, some displaying “for sale signs,” prompted the amendment of the code to prevent the deterioration of neighborhoods. The new provision provides a definition for dilapidated vehicle and junk motor vehicle which have property damage in excess of $500, stripped vehicles which have parts that have been removed and dilapidated vehicles which have fallen into partial ruin. These vehicles are prohibited from parking on City swales. To report a violation of the Zoning Code, contact Code Enforcement at 305-460-5226.

 
 
 

EVENTS ROUNDUP
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City of Coral Gables,
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TRAFFIC

Coral Way and Segovia Street: Construction of a roundabout on the intersection of Coral Way and Segovia Street is in full swing. For the next two weeks, workers will be preparing the site for the base of the roundabout, pouring concrete for the curbs, continuing the removal of traffic signal equipment and the installation of electrical conductors. The following streets are now closed and will remain closed throughout the duration of the project: Coral Way at Segovia Street, North Greenway Drive at Segovia Street, Segovia Street at Coral Way and Segovia Street at Biltmore Way. Local traffic will be permitted through the area at all times. Signs are positioned just outside the construction zone that clearly mark detour routes. The roundabout is scheduled to be completed by December 15, 2008. 

Red Road from Coral Way to S.W. 22 Street: The roadway improvements on Red Road between Coral Way and Southwest 22 Street have been rescheduled to start October 10. For the next three weekends please avoid travelling through the area as the Florida Department of Transportation will be conducting roadway improvements that include improving the drainage system on the eastside of Red Road and restriping of the roadway. As a result, Red Road and the sidewalk will be closed in the mentioned construction zone on Saturdays and Sundays, October 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Only local traffic will be allowed through the area. Detour routes will be clearly marked as drivers approach the area.

Old Cutler Road: Phase 2 of the Old Cutler Road Sewer Pipe Replacement Project begins this week in the area of Snapper Creek and Old Cutler Road. Please anticipate intermittent single lane closures in Old Cutler Road.

CITY OF
CORAL GABLES

MISSION
Dedicated people providing exceptional services to residents, businesses and visitors while preserving our heritage.

VALUES
Accessibility
Accountability
Competency
Dedication
Innovation
Integrity
Loyalty
Responsiveness

CITY COMMISSION

MAYOR
Don Slesnick
 
VICE MAYOR
William H. Kerdyk Jr.
 
COMMISSIONERS
Maria Anderson
Rafael “Ralph” Cabrera Jr.
Wayne "Chip" Withers

 
CITY MANAGER
David L. Brown
 
CITY ATTORNEY
Elizabeth M. Hernandez
 
CITY CLERK
Walter J. Foeman

Visit the
City of Coral Gables
web site:
www.coralgables.com

 

   
 
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