Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130550
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File Number: 130550 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-367-13 Control: County Commission
File Name: FEASIBILITY STUDY RE COPPER WIRE THEFT Introduced: 3/22/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 5/7/2013
Agenda Date: 5/7/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A6
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO PERFORM A FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS CONCERNING THE USE OF SECURITY DEVICES AND OTHER PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCES OF COPPER WIRE AND SCRAP METAL THEFT AND PROVIDE A REPORT WITHIN 60 DAYS WHICH INCLUDES A CALCULATION OF COUNTY EXPENDITURES TO DATE RELATED TO COPPER WIRE AND SCRAP METAL THEFT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING SECURITY DEVICES FOR COPPER WIRE AND SCRAP METAL THEFT PREVENTION
Indexes: FEASIBILITY STUDY
  SCRAP METAL
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 5/7/2013 11A6 Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Edmonson said that besides the report presented in today’s (5/7) meeting there was a pilot program being conducted with the Miami-Dade Public Works and Waste Management Department in District 3. She noted the program entailed a device that was not advertised because it was being tested. She indicated that the devices were placed at no cost in areas with high rates of stolen copper wire; and ever since the devices were installed the thefts of copper wire stopped. In response to Commissioner Edmonson’s question regarding her evaluation of the devices installed by Horse Power in her district, Kathleen Woods-Richardson Director, Public Works and Waste Management (PWWM) Department, noted the pilot program undertaken with Horse Power was still underway due to the installations had not been completed in all of the corridors. She explained that the installation was performed in two parts, with a portion of the work underground, and out- of- reach of potential thieves; as a result, the new devices that were installed had not been disturbed. However, she stated, there have been other reports of outages, specifically along Biscayne Boulevard, which did not have the device installed yet. Pursuant to Commissioner Edmonson’s question, Ms. Woods-Richardson noted the first devices were tested on 7th Avenue, in February, 2013. Commissioner Edmonson said that, in the past, the copper wiring that was installed along 7th Avenue was stolen within a week. She pointed out that it was now impossible for the thieves to steal the copper wiring, although there was evidence of attempts to do so. She noted this Board asked the department to come back with the results from the study to determine the next step, but she believed that the next step had been identified. Ms. Woods-Richardson said that the foregoing proposed resolution directed the department to undertake the study within 60 days; however, the department had been unable to conduct the study because it was focusing on the pilot program. Commissioner Edmonson pointed out that there was no need to conduct a study because it was completed in the high-crime areas where the copper wiring was consistently stolen. She said that besides District 3, the problem existed countywide. She asked what would be required to have these devices installed in the problem areas throughout the entire County. Ms. Woods-Richardson noted this was part of an existing contract that would expire at the end of the summer. She explained that only one company had the capacity to install these devices, and furthermore the devices were costly; therefore, in order to complete the installations, the contract amount would have to increase. Commissioner Edmonson pointed out that the County had spent a huge amount to replace the street lights and copper wiring; in comparison, she noted, the County would save by implementing this program. Ms. Alina Hudak noted the language in the foregoing item provided the opportunity to conduct the pilot program, analyze the results, and come back to this Board with a strategy, a budget, and possible opportunities for future contracts that could be incorporated as part of the program. Ms. Alina Hudak recommended that the foregoing proposed resolution be considered as written on the agenda, as this would give the Administration the opportunity to come back to the Board with a feasibility analysis. She said that it would be premature to speculate regarding a program and its cost when the pilot was still on-going. Commissioner Edmonson noted the results were already known and at this point she believed the next step was to proceed with the program without waiting another 60 days. Ms. Hudak said although it appeared that the devices worked, the Administration did not know how to strategically target the appropriate areas and how much it would cost to implement the program. She noted while the contractor had undertaken the pilot program it was uncertain whether the program would be the same in the future. Commissioner Diaz noted if this device has been proven to work, and there were areas that were repeatedly losing the copper wiring, it was embarrassing to keep analyzing costs. He recounted that in Sweetwater, two days after an entire new light system was installed, the copper wiring was stolen, and after the third replacement he requested continual monitoring from law enforcement. Commissioner Diaz said he agreed with Commissioner Edmonson, and that he was in favor of beginning the program because of the cost to replace stolen copper wire. He suggested that the program be implemented district-by-district to manage the cost. Following further comments by Commissioner Edmonson regarding the necessity to move forward without conducting more studies, Commissioner Monestime requested to be added as a co-sponsor. Commissioner Monestime said that his district was as much affected by copper wire thefts as Commissioner Edmonson’s district and he was constantly calling the Public Works and Waste Management Department or Florida Power and Light (FPL) to resolve the matter. He noted this pilot program device had limited the thefts, and he believed that the expense to implement the program would be a worthy investment if it helped put an end to this crime. Chairwoman Sosa pointed out that this was a countywide problem and that she agreed with Commissioner Edmonson’s recommendations. Commissioner Edmonson asked that the Public Works and Waste Management Department Director present a cost analysis to the Board at its May 21, 2013 meeting identifying the cost of extending the existing contract to install security devices to prevent copper wire/scrap metal theft in areas identified by staff as having experienced high incidents of theft. Ms. Woods-Richardson noted the pilot program appeared to be working and she wanted to implement it; however, she expressed concern that the contract would expire at the end of the summer so she needed advice from the County Attorney’s Office to determine how to move forward, because the proposed course of action could only be undertaken at an additional cost. Chairwoman Sosa recommended that the Administration revert to Commissioner Edmonson with the necessary information to allow her to sponsor the item to accomplish the intent of this Board and the recommendations at hand. Discussion ensued among the Board members regarding the cost for the devices, which was $200 for each part totaling $400.00 per pole, and would amount to $11 million as there were an estimated 25,000 light poles countywide to retrofit, and whether Florida Power and Light (FPL) could bear some of this cost. Commissioner Edmonson noted the discussion did not involve expenses to supply devices countywide, but in specific problem areas. Chairwoman Sosa asked that as part of the cost analysis, staff address all the different scenarios to facilitate the discussion regarding costs, such as how the cost would be divided; whether or not funding was available and if so, identify funding source(s); including whether or not a grant was available and whether or not Florida Power and Light (FPL) or other utility service providers that would benefit from the security devices should be asked to share the cost. Commissioner Jordan noted she supported this item that was presented but she wanted clarification on the cost. Discussion ensued regarding the steps to be taken in receiving the information regarding the cost and plans to install these devices in the problem areas; Commissioner Edmonson expressed concern about prolonging the process to address the issue of stolen copper wire, which has caused fatal accidents in her district. Following further discussion, Chairwoman Sosa noted Commissioner Jordan and she were supportive of this item; however, in order for staff members to follow the directive, they needed to know how much the implementation would cost. Commissioner Edmonson requested the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to perform a feasibility analysis concerning the use of security devices and other preventative measures to reduce the incidences of copper wire and scrap metal theft and provide a report within 60 days which includes a calculation of County expenditures to-date related to copper wire and scrap metal theft and recommendations for implementing security devices for copper wire and scrap metal theft prevention. Commissioner Jordan asked for the cost analysis to install the security devices countywide before the existing contract expired. Commissioner Diaz expressed concern regarding the public safety, and asked whether during the existing contract the troubled areas could be addressed. He noted he was in total agreement with Commissioner Jordan and Chairwoman Sosa that it was important to know the cost to install these devices for the remaining areas in the County. Commissioner Edmonson said that it was urgent to immediately address the areas that have been troubled by the thefts of copper wire, because this involved the risk of fatalities. She pointed out how expensive it was to replace the lights every time the copper wire was stolen. She stated that the Administration could continue to conduct the study in the other areas to determine the cost of installing the devices in the remaining County districts. Ms. Woods-Richardson noted she understood that the Administration would identify the most targeted theft areas, and revert to the Board with a cost analysis and a plan to implement the program at next BCC meeting. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Board members proceeded to vote.

Infrastructure & Capital Improvements Committee 4/9/2013 2A Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Henry Gillman read the title of the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. There being no comments or questions, the Committee proceeded to vote on this resolution as presented.

County Attorney 3/22/2013 Referred Infrastructure & Capital Improvements Committee 4/9/2013

County Attorney 3/22/2013 Assigned Joni A. Mosely 3/25/2013

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO PERFORM A FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS CONCERNING THE USE OF SECURITY DEVICES AND OTHER PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCES OF COPPER WIRE AND SCRAP METAL THEFT AND PROVIDE A REPORT WITHIN 60 DAYS WHICH INCLUDES A CALCULATION OF COUNTY EXPENDITURES TO DATE RELATED TO COPPER WIRE AND SCRAP METAL THEFT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING SECURITY DEVICES FOR COPPER WIRE AND SCRAP METAL THEFT PREVENTION

BODY
WHEREAS, skyrocketing prices for metals, especially copper, has resulted in a significant increase in the theft of copper, aluminum and other ferrous and nonferrous metals material in Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, such thefts include metals material from light poles, which create power outages and endanger the health, safety and welfare of the public, particularly the elderly and children; and
WHEREAS, such thefts are economically burdensome on the County since the County is required to expend funds to replace or repair stolen or vandalized street signs and street lights owned by the County; and
WHEREAS, this Board has taken steps to prevent copper wire and scrap metal theft by enacting Ordinance No. 11-17 which created Sections 8A-9 through 8A-9.6 of the Code of Miami-Dade County. This legislation makes it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen items by prohibiting scrap metal dealers from purchasing items commonly obtained through theft, prohibiting scrap metal dealers from engaging in cash transactions for certain items, and requiring scrap metal dealers to keep sale records, including a copy of the seller’s identification; and
WHEREAS, this Board has encouraged an ongoing dialogue on the issue of preventing scrap metal and copper wire theft by creating the Scrap Metal and Copper Wire Theft Task Force, which issues recommendations to the Board on the enforcement of existing laws preventing scrap metal and copper wire theft, ways to educate businesses and the community on complying with the law, and other means of preventing the illegal sale of scrap metal and copper wire; and
WHEREAS, scrap metal and copper wire theft remains a serious issue and more can be done to keep our community safe; and
WHEREAS, the use of security devices and other preventative measures may reduce the incidences of scrap metal and copper wire theft; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County presently has contracts with Horsepower Electric, Inc. and Prime Electrical Contractors, Inc. for the proactive maintenance and repair of the roadway lighting under the County’s jurisdiction; and
WHEREAS, the installation of security devices on light poles or other preventative measures may be incorporated into the scope of work for Miami-Dade County’s Proactive Street Light Maintenance contracts, or into the scope of work for another existing Miami-Dade County contract; and
WHEREAS, a feasibility study on the use of security devices and other preventative measures is necessary to determine the best course of action to prevent future scrap metal and copper wire theft; and
WHEREAS, it is essential for Miami-Dade County to have a full understanding of the amount of funds expended on the prevention of scrap metal and copper wire theft in order to offer its citizens the most protection with the least economic impact,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Directs the County Mayor or the County Mayor’s designee to perform a feasibility analysis on the use of security devices and other preventative measures to reduce the incidents of scrap metal and copper wire theft.
Section 2. Directs the County Mayor or the County Mayor’s designee to submit a report to this Board with the results of the analysis within 60 days of the effective date of this Resolution. Such report shall include: 1) a calculation of County expenditures to date related to scrap metal and copper wire theft; 2) recommendations for implementing security devices and/or other preventative measures countywide; 3) the expected cost for the recommended course of action; and 4) an explanation of whether the installation of security devices on light poles or other preventative measures may be incorporated into the scope of work for Miami-Dade County’s contracts with Horsepower Electric, Inc. and Prime Electrical Contractors, Inc., or into the scope of work for another existing Miami-Dade County contract.



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