Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 142520
Printable PDF Format Download Adobe Reader  

File Number: 142520 File Type: Resolution Status: Amended
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: COURTHOUSE HAZARD REPAIR GOB Introduced: 11/14/2014
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 12/2/2014 Agenda Item Number: 11A20
Notes: SEE 142688 FOR FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO CLOSE THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COURTHOUSE AT 73 WEST FLAGLER STREET IN THE EVENT OF HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS, CORRECT OR REPAIR SUCH HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS USING BUILDING BETTER COMMUNITIES GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND PROGRAM FUNDS, IF AVAILABLE, OR OTHER FUNDS IDENTIFIED BY THE MAYOR AND SUBJECT TO BOARD APPROVAL, DEVELOP A PROCESS FOR IDENTIFICATION OF HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS AND A PLAN FOR THE TEMPORARY RELOCATION OF COURT FACILITIES, AND PROVIDE A REPORT TO THE BOARD WITHIN 30 DAYS [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 142263] (SEE AGENDA ITEM 6B1)
Indexes: COURTS
Sponsors: Juan C. Zapata, Prime Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, 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 12/2/2014 11A20 Amended
REPORT: Note: See Agenda Item No. 11A20 AMENDED. Legislative File No. 142688 for the amended version.

County Attorney 11/14/2014 Assigned Oren Rosenthal 11/17/2014

Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 11/12/2014 2F AMENDED Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Alexander Bokor read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Assistant County Attorney Oren Rosenthal advised that the sponsor of this item requested that it be amended to add the following sentence at the end of Section 1, on Handwritten Page 5, “All 2004 Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program Funds available for such repairs, to the 1928 Courthouse, must be expended prior to utilizing any alternative funding source proposed by the Mayor.” It was moved by Commissioner Bovo that the foregoing proposed resolution be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners with a favorable recommendation with Committee amendments as requested by the sponsor. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Edmonson, for discussion. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal noted Commissioner Bovo requested the foregoing proposed resolution also be amended to add two new sections that would read as follows: “… Section 4: The County Mayor shall conduct a thorough inspection of all Port facilities located in Miami-Dade County and identify any hazardous conditions at those facilities. The Mayor is further directed to identify all County-owned buildings, which have vacant space suitable for the temporary relocation of court operations for those facilities deemed to presently contain hazardous conditions. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall present such findings in a report to the Board within 30 days of the effective date of this resolution. Such report shall be placed on the agenda of the Board, pursuant to Ordinance No. 14-65…” “…Section 5: The County Mayor, in consultant with the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit, is directed to study the feasibility of decentralizing the Civil Division of the County Courts by distributing court operations to existing branch courthouses situated throughout Miami-Dade County. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall present such findings in a report to the Board within 30 days of the effective date of this resolution. Such report shall be placed on the agenda of the Board, pursuant to Ordinance No. 14-65…” Pertaining to Commissioner Edmonson’s proposed amendment to also direct the Mayor to also identify alternative funding for new courthouse, Mr. Rosenthal suggested the following language: “…Section 6: The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee is directed to study and propose alternate funding mechanisms to construct a new civil courthouse in Miami-Dade County and shall present such findings in a report to the Board within 30 days of the effective date of this resolution. Such report shall be placed on the agenda of the Board, pursuant to Ordinance No. 14-65…” Chairwoman Heyman referenced comments on moving the court operations to the new Children’s Courthouse and presented several reasons that would not be the best solution. She requested that the language in the foregoing proposed resolution be amended, where appropriate, to replace the phrase “County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee,” with the phrase “Chief Judge or Chief Judge’s designee,” with regard to the requested inspection.” Chairwoman Heyman requested an additional amendment be made adding a new Section 7, directing the Inspector General to perform a forensic audit on all inspections done or required to be done at the 1928 Courthouse, listing who performed the inspections and what caused the system to fail. She questioned whether the 30-day timeframe was sufficient for staff to perform the inspections and other requests presented in this resolution. Discussion ensued among Committee members and staff regarding what timeframe would be adequate for staff to fulfill all the tasks included in the foregoing ordinance. Committee members accepted Deputy Mayor Edward Marquez’ request that staff be given a 90-day timeframe to comply. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal advised that the 90-day timeframe would be applicable to the two amendments proposed by Commissioners Bovo and Edmonson; however, the original item report would remain due in 30 days. Mr. Rosenthal suggested the following proposed language for Chairwoman Heyman’s amendment as Section 7: “…The Inspector General is requested to conduct an audit investigation of all inspections done, or required to be done under the law, of the 1928 Courthouse, and shall provide a report to the Board. In response to Chairwoman Heyman’s inquiry regarding what timeframe would accommodate completion of the required audit investigations, Ms. Mary Cagle, Inspector General, noted the IG staff was currently discussing the issue of inspections of the 40-year mark and thereafter, and would work with the County Attorney’s Office on the language. She stated she could not recommend a timeframe for Section 7 at this time as further review of the issue would need to be done first. Chairwoman Heyman asked Chief Judge Bertila Soto to review this legislation as it moved forward and advise the County Attorney’s Office of areas of concern for possible additional amendments. Chairwoman Heyman and Commissioners Bovo and Edmonson asked to be added as co-sponsors to the foregoing proposed resolution. Chairwoman Heyman advised that members of this Committee had made changes to the foregoing proposed ordinance and that Commissioner Zapata’s concerns would be recognized in his absence. Honorable Chief Judge Bertila Soto, appeared and introduced Honorable Jennifer Bailey, Administrative Judge, Circuit Civil Division. She noted the deterioration of the courthouse remained the same as it was on November 4, 2014, including corroded columns, flooding, water leaks, termites, mold, asbestos, and poor air quality. Judge Soto indicated several floors had been closed as a result of air quality issues. She indicated that in light of the failed attempt to allocate funding during the election, the courts were in support of the foregoing proposed resolution and the requested inspection within 30 days. Judge Soto stated that a long-term solution was needed and that she was pleased with Commissioner Edmonson’s proposed amendment to identify funding for a permanent solution and continue the process to build a new civil courthouse. Mr. Daniel Chatlos, Commission Aide to Commissioner Zapata – District 11, stated for the record, that Commissioner Zapata requested that no amendments be made to this item at this meeting and that any amendments be considered before the full Board. Ms. Raquel A. Regalado, Miami-Dade County School Board Member, District 6, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing resolution and the amendments proposed by Committee members. She noted that since the Mayor had already issued two memorandums pertaining to options for a new courthouse, perhaps Commissioner Edmonson’s amendment should be deferred pending the inspection and evaluation of all the Court’s assets. Chairwoman Heyman acknowledged Commissioner Zapata’s request to not amend this item; however, she expressed her support for the proposed amended language. Chairwoman Heyman and Commissioners Bovo and Edmonson stated they would respect the sponsor’s request to not amend the item at this time; however, they requested that their proposed amendments travel with the item to the full Board and be considered at that time. Assistant County Attorney Rosenthal advised that the motion would be to adopt without the proposed amendments adding Sections 4 and 5; thereby renaming Sections 6 and 7 as Sections 4 and 5. Additionally, he noted Commissioner Bovo’s amended language would be again proposed before the full Board. Following further discussion among Committee members regarding the process for the proposed amendments to be presented to the Board for consideration, Mr. Rosenthal advised that a Committee report containing the proposed amendments could be prepared as documentation of this process. Chairwoman Heyman and Commissioners Bovo and Edmonson requested to be listed as co-sponsors to the foregoing proposed resolution. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee voted to forward the foregoing proposed resolution to the Board of County Commissioners with a favorable recommendation with Committee amendments to add the following sentence at the end of Section 1, on Handwritten Page 5, “All 2004 Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program Funds available for such repairs, to the 1928 Courthouse, must be expended prior to utilizing any alternative funding source proposed by the Mayor.”

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO CLOSE THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COURTHOUSE AT 73 WEST FLAGLER STREET IN THE EVENT OF HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS, CORRECT OR REPAIR SUCH HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS USING BUILDING BETTER COMMUNITIES GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND PROGRAM FUNDS, IF AVAILABLE, OR OTHER FUNDS IDENTIFIED BY THE MAYOR AND SUBJECT TO BOARD APPROVAL, DEVELOP A PROCESS FOR IDENTIFICATION OF HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS AND A PLAN FOR THE TEMPORARY RELOCATION OF COURT FACILITIES, AND PROVIDE A REPORT TO THE BOARD WITHIN 30 DAYS [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 142263]

BODY
WHEREAS, the Miami-Dade County Courthouse at 73 W. Flagler Street (“1928 Courthouse”) was initially constructed over four years from 1925-1928; and
WHEREAS, the 1928 Courthouse is over 80 years old and the aging structure is experiencing corrosion, rust, water intrusion, algae and mold penetration, termites, poor air quality, and potential asbestos exposure; and
WHEREAS, on September 3, 2014, this Board heard testimony from judges, litigants, and courthouse employees regarding hazardous conditions existing at the 1928 Courthouse; and
WHEREAS, although some portions of the 1928 Courthouse have been closed as a result of the existing hazardous conditions at the 1928 Courthouse, the majority of the 1928 Courthouse currently remains in use and open to the public; and
WHEREAS, the deteriorating condition of the 1928 Courthouse may create hazards to the life, health and safety of judges, employees and visitors at the courthouse; and
WHEREAS, this Board desires to provide safe and adequate facilities for the administration of the judicial process in Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, should the condition of all, or a portion, of the 1928 Courthouse continue to deteriorate thereby creating an unsafe condition for judges, employees or visitors to the 1928 Courthouse, this Board desires to immediately close down the unsafe portion of the facility and repair such condition; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County is responsible for funding repair and maintenance costs at trial court facilities including the 1928 Courthouse; and
WHEREAS, failure to adequately maintain the 1928 Courthouse may subject the County to litigation and allegations of negligence in the event judges, employees or the public are injured by any hazardous conditions at the 1928 Courthouse; and
WHEREAS, on August 21, 2014 and September 2, 2014, respectively, the County Mayor issued a memorandum to the Board regarding the Circuit Courts’ capital construction needs and the potential costs and financing options to meet those needs and identified approximately $78 million of Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program (the “Bond Program”) funds that are currently unallocated to eligible projects; and
WHEREAS, these Bond Program funds, listed in Appendix A to Resolution No. R-915-04 as Project No. 180-Additional Courtrooms and Administration Facilities (“Project No. 180”), are currently designated for the “expansion of court facilities in accordance with the master plan;” and
WHEREAS, this Board may, in accordance with the process set forth in Implementing Order 3-47 and after a public hearing, reallocate a portion of Project No. 180 Bond Program funds to a new project in order to fund emergency repairs to the 1928 Courthouse; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of Implementing Order 3-47, a separate resolution reallocating Project No. 180 funds to a new project will be presented to the Building Better Communities Citizen’s Advisory Committee for its recommendation regarding the reallocation of Project No. 180 surplus funds to the new project for the funding of emergency repairs as and when needed, and then to this Board for its consideration after a public hearing; and
WHEREAS, this Board desires that the County be prepared for the possibility of closing the 1928 Courthouse for emergency repairs,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee is hereby directed to immediately close all or a portion of the 1928 Courthouse if the County Mayor or the County Building Official determines that evidence of a condition exists that creates a hazard to the life, health or safety of the judges, employees or visitors at the 1928 Courthouse. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee is further directed to correct or repair the hazardous condition using Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program funds, in the event such funds are available to fund such repairs to the 1928 Courthouse. In the event Bond Program funds are unavailable or are insufficient to fund the necessary improvements, the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall propose alternative funding sources and, in accordance with the Board’s rules of procedure, present such proposal for approval to the Board at the next regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting called to consider the matter. >>All 2004 Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program funds available for such repairs to the 1928 Courthouse must be expended prior to utilizing any alternative funding source proposed by the Mayor.<<1

Section 2. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee is further directed to collaborate with the County Building Official to create a process for the identification of hazardous conditions at the 1928 Courthouse and the orderly and immediate closure of all or a portion of the 1928 Courthouse once such condition has been identified. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee is also directed to develop a plan for the temporary relocation of court facilities from the 1928 Courthouse to another facility or other facilities in the event that all, or a portion, of the 1928 Courthouse is closed for the purpose of emergency repairs and the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court determines that relocation is required during the repair period.
Section 3. The County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall provide a report to this Board within 30 days of the effective date of this Resolution setting forth whether any hazardous conditions currently exist as well as the process for identifying future hazardous conditions at the 1928 Courthouse, the relocation plan for court operations, the expected costs of relocation, and the funding sources available to fund emergency repairs and relocation costs, if needed. The County Mayor shall place the completed report on an agenda of the Board pursuant to Ordinance No. 14-65.

1 Committee amendments are indicated as follows: Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] are deleted, words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< are added.

This item was amended at the November 12, 2014 Public Safety and Animal Services Committee to clarify that all 2004 Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program funds available for repairs to the 1928 Courthouse be expended prior to utilizing any alternative funding source proposed by the Mayor as required in the Resolution



Home  |   Agendas  |   Minutes  |   Legislative Search  |   Lobbyist Registration  |   Legislative Reports
2022 BCC Meeting Calendar  |   Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances   |   ADA Notice  |  

Home  |  Using Our Site  |  About Phone Directory  |  Privacy  |  Disclaimer

E-mail your comments, questions and suggestions to Webmaster  

Web Site © 2022 Miami-Dade County.
All rights reserved.