Anti-Social

Key Biscayne's Big Dig with Steve Williamson, Village manager

November 04, 2023 Tony Winton, John Pacenti Season 9 Episode 2
Anti-Social
Key Biscayne's Big Dig with Steve Williamson, Village manager
Show Notes Transcript

IT WILL COST HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS -- making Key Biscayne hardened against sea level rise, increasing rains, and hurricanes.  But protecting one of Miami's most scenic barrier islands is facing a big vote in the coming weeks -- a final decision on just how dry the streets should be, and whether there is the political will to borrow, spend, and manage a mammoth job. 

STEVE WILLIAMSON, a former Army of Corps of Engineers colonel, is Key Biscayne's village manager. We ask him the latest on the costs, the trade-offs, and why his adminstration is pushing hard to get work started. 

With Guest Host Jan Dillow -- and discussions on the latest news on social media. 
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Announcer:

The views expressed in the following program are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily represent those of the Key Biscayne Independent or Miami Fourth Estate. Portions were pre recorded (MUSIC

Quintana Key & Mario Gil:

You will always be my friend, Where'd you learn to be this way? Well you don't know Key Biscayne

Tony Winton:

Live from Key Biscayne, Florida, this is anti though. social, the podcast that takes the swirling winds of social media and tries to make them calm. I'm Tony Winton.

Jan Dillow:

And I'm Jan Dillow, filling in for the vacationing John Pacenti. Well, welcome, Jan, thank you very much. I'm glad to be back. I'm so glad you could come back and help us out today. No problem and

Tony Winton:

what did you do for Halloween?

Jan Dillow:

I went to a friend's house and we gave out candy on Glenridge. We went through she had a couple of people because she needs backup. And we gave out hundreds of dollars at least of candy to these people to these hordes of kids

Tony Winton:

contributing to dental decay all over the Key Biscayne was to all the dentists out there see what we're doing for you. Okay, but it

Jan Dillow:

was a lot less than it was on a week when it's a weekend night if you can't see from one side of the street to the other.

Tony Winton:

Yeah, it was pretty jam. They actually closed down and part of Glenridge there just was it really turned into what do they always do? Yeah, story about it. It was just forget it. No, no waking back. What did you What did you dress as

Jan Dillow:

a pickleball? Player?

Tony Winton:

Oh, I see. I thought you were gonna say CFO? Yeah. Because that since your CFO of Miami Fourth Estate, I could have been that I would have been the scariest costume you could have worn?

Jan Dillow:

Well, to tell you the truth, all I was doing was wearing like, a skirt with the shorts under.

Tony Winton:

Well, you know, a great time was had by it was but But speaking of, of times, and whether they're good or bad, and it's hard things, things that may be scary or not scary. We have a guest in the studio today who's going to be talking about a very large project that at least for some people, I guess feels kind of scary because of the dollars involved. And his name is Steve Williamson, the village manager of Key Biscayne. And welcome. Yes, welcome to our show. Mr. Williamson.

Steve Williamson:

Okay, thank you, Tony. Thank you, Tony. I didn't know you were turning it over to me. Yeah. It's great to be here. Great to be here on this week of Halloween. And what you guys were talking about before is what makes Key Biscayne such a wonderful place to work and be a part of,

Tony Winton:

well, just before Halloween, and then the reason I was talking about our little theme there is because you had a very detailed workshop meeting with AECOM, the villages contractor that is looking at ways of moving this project forward to the next phase, you know, getting some consensus from the village council and the leadership on what they want to do. And there were two kind of dominant questions, I guess that would areas that came out a lot of its focusing about the cost of this project. You know, we have a number from a common including, including a contingency let's be clear about that. Pretty large, I think 35% Right. Yeah. To make sure there was no overruns like biggest highest number you could come up with somewhere in the $310 million range. And of course, this is aimed at seeing if that number can be reduced somewhat. And so councilmember Brad Moss, who has been somewhat critical of some of the aspects of the program, putt, putt his idea about the criteria or the goals this way, and I'll just play the clip and, and you'll hear a sense of where he's coming from

Brett Moss:

keep going back to the idea of living in the north of the snow, it snows you can't go outside. You have to wait till they plow, sometimes it takes a day you're stranded you stay home, figure it out, right. So thing is do you spend hundreds of hundreds of million dollars so that is always dry, even in the worst case scenario? Or do you look at let's look at our common storms, we get to take care of those first and then we look at the worst case scenario say, what can we live with and what can we not live with?

Tony Winton:

Right? And so councilmember Fernando Vasquez who a former executive, a calm and and now, you know, worked in that field, saying kind of responding a little bit saying, you know, he wants to worry about where the models are going in the future. Is that seven

Jan Dillow:

inches of proper projection for future generations to come? Are we looking at today's data, you're looking at a 1999 curve, but we're designing for are 2060. So this is more of a it's more for the public and for council. Allow me just one second. Okay. Sure. Yeah, it's just that I agree. And I don't disagree that we should try to minimize the costs. And we should try to be as thorough as we can. But I don't want to keep our eye on the future. And because we're not designing for the past, or designing for the future, right. So

Tony Winton:

to kind of polar ideas, they're one that keep us gain, we have to get used to flooding to a certain degree. And the other one saying we don't know how bad the flooding is gonna get. Right. So how, how is how is what you're doing? And this workshop you're going to have for the whole village? How are you addressing that for the for the public?

Steve Williamson:

Well thank you Tony And I think, I think you see the discussion that we're having and kind of the I don't want to call them polar, because it's not necessarily polar. It's just, you know, different opinions and different thoughts that are bringing us together, which I think we're going to optimize what we're trying to go. But before we start, and I want to read this, make sure that anyone who's listening here today really understands what we're trying to achieve with a resilient infrastructure and adaptation program. And I'm gonna read this word for words, I think it's important for people to understand, okay, we're trying to protect residents, their property, and their quality of life from impending environmental changes. And in many cases, those that we don't quite know at this time. And what we want to do is to build a stronger, more resilient community. And so I want to make sure that we always go back to that and understand that it's about people, it's about property, it's about their life. So we don't want to do this without getting community input. And this process from if you all the way go back to February of last year, when we first presented the level of service, we've now been a year and a half in I think it's really important before we kick off on a major investment that we bring those diverging opinions to the middle. And I think what you've seen from the August discussion workshop, and the October workshop, is that ability to ask those questions and begin to optimize the level of service, the parameters, what storm we're going to use, what sea level rise projections we're going to use, and, and we slowly move towards that. And what I think was the most important thing out of coming out of last meeting was the direction that we are going to give to AECOM, which the council will officially do a November 14 council meeting to move forward with that additional modeling.

Tony Winton:

So let's take that back in stages a little bit. So the the the you mentioned, I think it was in February of last year, the council voted seven zero to set this level of service. And I know that's a term that maybe some people is maybe a little itself a little not always completely understood. But it's basically a combination of what models you're using to predict the future, you know, for sea level rise. It's the NOAA Intermediate High model. And also what how much water in the streets are you essentially going to deal with,

Steve Williamson:

Exactly 6 to 12,

Tony Winton:

And that level of service was fairly aggressive. I don't know if you'd call it a Cadillac plan. But it was a fairly aggressive plan that said, the amount is really pretty minimal, we're going to we're going to assume a maximum six to 12. And then the ponding that would happen storm that would have eight inches of rain, it's going to be able to clear it, I think within six hours, if not mistaken. would be confined to the swales would keep the basically the road surfaces dry. But that came in with a big dollar sign, right?

Steve Williamson:

It did. But I think, look, when you ask somebody, you know, with no other context, do you want dry streets? The answer is going to be of course, I want dry streets. And what comes to their mind is when it rains, I don't have dry streets. And that's part of the problem is that we don't have a stormwater system that works right now. So what they're imagining is the 15 or so maybe 20 times a year that they face flooding. So what we're trying to do is take away those days and only make them the days that are extremely in intense rainstorms. You know, similar to what councilmember Moss said about the snow. Sure, can we accept rain periodically? Yes. Can we accept a certain amount in the road? Of course we can. We're trying to optimize get to that amount that is acceptable. And I think the conversation of would you like to have the Cadillac, as you said, Would you like to have dry roads, you're always gonna get Yes. But now when you put a price tag on it, we're coming to the middle on exactly what do you want? And at what cost?

Tony Winton:

How much "give" is there in this number though? I mean, you have to tear up the streets for you know, pumping it clear in six hours or 12 hours or 24. You still going to have to tear the streets up. You're still going to have to put a new pipe you're still going to have to have new outfalls right no matter what. So at some point, you know what's really changing?The diameter of the pipe ? If this I mean, how much how much wiggle room really is there?

Steve Williamson:

That's a great, great question, Tony. Right? So yeah, right, we're gonna have to dig up the road anyway. So the labor cost is generally speaking going to be the same no matter what choice we do. And maybe you can move that 5% back and forth, but it really is going to change by much more than 5%. The pipe costs, you know, the difference between the 36 inch pipe a 48-inch zbefore the eight inch pipe really, is that not significant? But what does have a very significant difference in costs is the pumps. And how many pumps you need, what the capacity of the pump? And how do you discharge that into the bay. That's that's where the cost comes in. And that is where you ask the question, how much water? Do we want to move off our roads? And how fast do we want that to go? So that's where that really becomes a part of the equation.

Jan Dillow:

One of the things that that I've been hearing is that you're talking about going from looking at projections from 2016 to 2040. And I have a question about that. Because, you know, by the time it's built, you know, it's, you know, right now at 17 years from now, but by the time it's built, it's maybe 15. So that becomes a question. And, you know, are we building for, you know, 10 years? Or should we just go ahead and do it? So, it also begs the question, can you once you put these in, if it's a matter what the real cost is, is in the pumps themselves? Can you wait for a can you upgrade those, upgrade those pumps without doing the roads? So could we do it now with this pumps for 2040? And then in 2040? Just replace the pumps with a bigger pump? And you don't have to dig up everything? Again?

Steve Williamson:

That's a great question. It really is. And you know, think, well, we actually gave the direction we're going to give to AECOM it's actually 2045. Okay, 2060, to look at those two step approach, and it is still with the the idea of having 2060 in mind. So we're not we're not taking 2060 off the table. But we're asking the question, what can you do to help reduce the flooding at 2045. Creating infrastructure then is expandable. In this case, the biggest biggest suspension would be to add pumps, you don't want to replace the pump, you would, let's say, for instance, have two pumps. And let's say you need 50% more capacity, you would then add in a third pump. And that cost would then move you to the 2060 requirement.

Jan Dillow:

That makes a lot of sense. But how long would it take you? I'm sorry, but how long would it take you? I mean, you're saying, Say we're looking at 2045? How long realistically is it going to take? And I know that we've been talking about this already for years, but how long would it take to build it in the first place? Like if is it 2026? Is it 2025? Or

Steve Williamson:

so I liked that. Tony, had you asked that question. The question was, but anyway, he tried to get me to talk

Tony Winton:

to, you know, good cop, bad cop what can I tell ya? all right,

Steve Williamson:

the bad cop. But anyway, look, I know this is something that we have we want to get right there. I think we've identified and folks know that we were looking at eight zones throughout the village. We've chosen zone one, which is that area right around the K eight school because it is the one that's most impacted by flooding, and also has the biggest impact on the ability to to move right? Obviously, that's where our kids go.

Tony Winton:

It's where I take all the flood pictures that you see in the Key Biscayne independent, there all from that zone

Steve Williamson:

It is where it floods. I mean, there's a reason why we picked that question again, how long he threw me off. I'm out there

Tony Winton:

taking pictures and we're doing Yeah, how long? How long?

Steve Williamson:

I know, I was just kidding. Having this vision of Tony in the rain, but

Jan Dillow:

little rain boots

Steve Williamson:

So we want to get it right. So how do you get that right? First, we have to do the proper modeling to get us towards what do we want to design towards and I look I think we're gonna get there we're gonna get V comes from very good games coming out of the 14th of November. My goal, my intent is to bring the final directive to AECOM on the January council meeting, to give them direction to go to 30 to 100% design, that should take approximately a year to be done. That would be let's just say end of 2024. Then you go through, and it's going to have to be a very robust and detailed procurement process. This is not something you want to do off the cuff. This is going to have to be a contract that this village procurement processing contractor This village has never done the expertise which is one of the reasons why we have Black and Veatch and that's about to get right is the specialty on how do you put that type of procurement together. Right? That'll take I mean to do it right. At least four months. You're gonna want to have the specifications. You got to bring these folks in you want to talk to them? Do they have the capability as a contractor do they have the light right subcontractors, because this is very special work. So those are folks that we're gonna have to bring in and I would imagine that may even take six months four to six months for that contract to be approved. And then construction I would imagine it would be about a year you You're gonna have to get done. So we're looking at, add that up mid 2025.

Jan Dillow:

So you start mid 2025, and you finish by the end of 2026?. Yeah,

Steve Williamson:

and but also, we're going to learn a lot by this process, and we were already be starting on zone two, or the second zone, it may not be zoned two itself, but the second zone that we'll be tackling, so the more we learn, the faster we'll be able to go. So we'll be able to move these through much quicker,

Tony Winton:

right, but you also have another issue, and this has come up and it's in our story. Another big cost driver are easements, right? And whether you can the number of them that you can secure, the more that you get in the spots that you need them, the less the cost is, right? Because you have to basically dig less and pipe less. if I understand correctly,

Steve Williamson:

yes, um, oh, look, we have right now we have 17 outfalls. Obviously, we have those are existing easements, and most of them are side yard easements in existing property. We'll use those where we can find more where people doing construction go in and have a negotiation. And we just had one that was approved with no cost whatsoever. We'll hope that people are out there going to have their civic duty civic pride and say, Sure, if it doesn't affect my way to do my construction affect my yard, and certainly, the village can have access to the side yard, where we may experience some costs or maybe some time is the concept of the dissipator, where you have actually have a side yard pipe, that doesn't impact their ability to build, but then it actually turns you know, a right angle across across the seawall and where it actually dissipates the water. So you don't go scouring into the bay itself. You know, we'll see where that goes. And how many people will accommodate us for that.

Tony Winton:

Right. So that's an that's a potential.

Steve Williamson:

That's an unknown, but I think, I don't think I know there are a lot of people in this village stepping forward and offering their easements understanding that whether there's an existing one, or maybe there needs to be a new one. You take your 10 to 15 feet. You give me what I need. I think that's a fair deal.

Tony Winton:

We'll break in a little bit. But I did want to try and get a bigger picture if I can, because we a lot of this is going to be about the storm water system. But there are other components of this plan. The utility undergrounding, the coastal protection, do we have any kind of bigger number or some overall idea what taxpayers will be funding with the under all these other things? Obviously, our village has been very assiduous working with the Army Corps and Miami Dade County to try and get enrolled in the coastal protection program. That's a long administrative process. Right, all that but a lot of there a lot of parallel tracks going at the same time. But at some day, right, there is going to be additional costs. So what is the best kind of number?

Steve Williamson:

Money and time? Yeah, money and time? How do I know as you can ask that, Tony? You already got me on the time when someone?

Tony Winton:

Well Jan got you on the time!

Steve Williamson:

Well I know. You passed it off to her.(laughter)I saw the way that's coming. Now you're surrounding me. But anyway, so look, you've seen the the estimate, you know, we're probably talking between 250 million to 350 million. All in when it comes to stormwater undergrounding utilities, improving our roadways, I think the cost that you've seen with a comes about $300 million. And that's what the 35 plus or minus percent contingency, I'm giving us a range between, I think we can bring that number down. That's why we're gonna give this this direction. And so I'm moving towards that 250. But I think we all have to be ready for this to be somewhere between 250 and 350. But that's the big picture. Right? That's the whole village. And just to make that kind of detailed estimate right now, is getting way, way ahead of ourselves, because what we really need to do is focus in on zone one and understand zone one. Right? And you see right now, AECOM is suggesting it's going to cost about $35 million for the storm water part. What we've gotten from a AT&T Comcast, and FPL is approximately a $3 million undergrounding cost inside that. So if you are to take that that 35% contingency is correct. At$3 million on top of 35 Then we're looking at a cost of approximately $38 million for zone one.

Tony Winton:

I know Mayor Rasco was hoping that that contingency could be may not be net hopefully not need every dollar of it and apply that to undergrounding for example.

Steve Williamson:

Look, I mean, AECOM is a very professional organization and they're before they're going to make a concrete cost estimate. They're gonna go through all this modeling that they are. It's not fair to say right now. So what is it actually going to cost? And there's a term I can't remember what it is and I think you heard Roland say it's the CCCP I'm not and I know a guy that wrote that CCNA

Tony Winton:

or something like Oh, I got you guys with your acronyms are driving me crazy, but it's

Steve Williamson:

It's the most probable cost, right? So that's the most softest cost estimate is one can have because they're still in planning and modeling. So which is why they give them a 35% contingency. As we give them more and more details to model, they're gonna get closer to the cost. And my expectation is come January, that number will be closer to reality. And so that exactly what we're trying to do is you build a zone one, you're telling us it's $35 million stormwater only? We want to know, how do you optimize performance, time and cost? To get us to the right number?

Jan Dillow:

I have a question about the cost, because we're focusing on what we're going to get as a bid. And that's the cost that we're looking at. I'm just wondering, because I've never heard this spoken of in the past. But aren't there some offsets? Don't we you as a community pay for different things related to stormwater mitigation or whatever, you know, whatever we're talking about, or, you know, outages for electricity? Or is there a component there in our budgeting process? Or is there a way that you can cut out some of the costs? So I guess, I'm just trying to say, is there any netting force here?

Steve Williamson:

I wish there were. I don't think there are I mean, think for the community, there will be like for for the public from the government? No, but I think people will experience fewer, fewer flood damage.

Jan Dillow:

Okay. We don't really pay anything for any of those things now.

Steve Williamson:

Well, I would imagine those that have experienced flood damage have, okay,

Tony Winton:

insurance ratings ?

Steve Williamson:

Insurance rates will go down.

Jan Dillow:

Okay, for People

Steve Williamson:

Home value should remain stable and/or go up. And everyone's looking at coastal communities and that value of properties. And I think those communities that aren't doing anything, those values are going to go down those that are doing something, they're either going to maintain or they're going to increase. So we're not doing this for any benefit for the nine then for the community, there's a huge amount of benefit.

Tony Winton:

We have so many more questions. We also know you have limited time, we will be back with a lightning round, where the manager is going to tell you how he's going to solve every single problem in Key Biscayne, and we're going to do that right after this.

Quintana Key & Mario Gil:

MUSIC

Tony Winton:

And we're back on Anti-social. I'm Tony Winton.

Jan Dillow:

I'm Jan Dillow

Tony Winton:

and we have as our guest, the village manager of Key Biscayne, Steve Williamson. And, you know, during the break, there was a frenetic conversation that I really wasn't listening to, but I know that you you have a pre question. So shoot. You absolutely can. Yes.

Steve Williamson:

Nothing like the lightning round. Lightning round at 430 on a Friday afternoon.

Jan Dillow:

This should have brought him a coffee with

Tony Winton:

Lightning Lightning shots. We'll do that later. All right.

Jan Dillow:

No, it was more of a clarification. I was just saying you know, I've been I went for a walk on the beach and there's been a there's been a lot of damage bass and we haven't had no rain. It's all the wind. And it looks like a lot of sand have probably gone in the last few days and I was just wondering if there's a budget item that's why I was asking if there were any offs. Oh no, I'm

Steve Williamson:

glad you asked that look, we had surprisingly so since neither hurricane Nia nor hurricane Nicole hit us directly during when those those hurricanes occurred. We received some significant impact from those storms when in went through southwest Florida it actually went across the state pushed out in the Atlantic Ocean we had some back surge you know I think it was the time when we had eight foot spacing for board waves in Key Biscayne it was it was amazing. But we lost a lot of sand as a result of it you know very very hard work got us funding in the Florida State Budget our representative Vicki Lopez and Senator colada you'd got another additional $450,000 Well we're going to put the bid is already out we're about ready to select the firm to come in in the I guess will be March April May timeframe to actually rebuild the beach so we've got that on the list and we're gonna get that going come springtime

Tony Winton:

All right, time for lightning round number one bear cut bridge go.

Steve Williamson:

There got bridge we just got notification from the county so the rehab the 10 year rehab required by F dot should be kicking off in the next 30 days that will address the existing maintenance repair requirements that keep that bridge as a functional bridge. Second part of their cut bridge moving towards replacement. There's what's called a planning development environmental study that has to be done before they go into design that will be awarded I've heard by the county in December. That will be a three year study which you will have complete engagement with all stakeholders. And we have one of our staff members, Director, Jeremy kaios. Gallagher is one of the technical review committee members. And so Key Biscayne will be a significant part of that process.

Jan Dillow:

Rickenbacker Causeway, raking Bakker

Steve Williamson:

costs that you guys don't want to be so big about your cause. Nothing like asking me what other people are doing for us. You know, the good news is that we've really established great relationships. And I think that's one of the things that I've tried to do since I've been here. And you know, coming from working elsewhere in the county, I think we've been able to build those relationships and maintain those relationships, because we are in Ireland, and with one road in one road out. And if we are not working with those stakeholders, we can't get done what we need to do to support our residents. So Rickenbacker Causeway, again, Jeremy is also a part of the master planning effort with the county, they've chosen the firm to move forward, it's Kim Lee horn, a firm that we worked with before they got awarded, and either was July or August, and that master plan is moving forward. We are about three months in so I really can't say where we are or where we're going. But the good news is that it's moving. That will be an open process, once it gets to a certain point. And again, we'll bring back to the community and get their input.

Jan Dillow:

So one of the things that I've heard about that is that the planning stage could take two to three years. I've read this from the Virginia advisory board that at the planning could take two to three years the design four years. So that looks like maybe we're talking about 2030. Does. And does that sounds or Rickenbacker? causeway? Yeah. For actual construction?

Steve Williamson:

I don't want to predict that. Again, I'm not Jeremy's the ones working that closely. The thing is that, yes, do we need to get first we got to get a plan. This is similar to what you're talking about before about the music and infrastructure program. Everybody wants to see things move, but everybody wants their part of the solution to be part of the solution. So

Tony Winton:

and I've heard nothing about financing any of this is it just is it just assumed it's just gonna be told, as is? Or is there after this thing is developed? Do they then go back and say, Do we try a privatization again? Is that dead? Well, no, I

Steve Williamson:

think all options are probably on the table that I'm using probably because, again, it's not our project. It's the county's project. They have extended the master plan, it's actually going all the way to the underlying so it's going to go from bare cup bridge to the underlying. Certainly we have a causeway that makes about $30 million a year. The money is there. Do we need to increase it? Do we not need to increase it someone will do the financial analysis. The good news is that when you do have a revenue stream, you can actually use a revenue bond. So how they're going to finance that how they're going to do that that's going to be part of the master plan as well.

Tony Winton:

Right. And I know the Secretary of Transportation was here, Pete Buda judge was here and we did ask him while he was here about the Rickenbacker Causeway and Mayor Levine Cava said she was that was on her list of many asks for the Department of Transportation there is funding that apparently, it's already said there's it's a very complicated thing whenever dealing with government funding, but apparently there might be an up a window of opportunity there but at least get some recovery of that from the feds. So who knows?

Steve Williamson:

I look at I think what's important for everyone to know you are not at the federal table. And still you do until you do your PTSD study. You're playing development environmental study, that is a NEPA requirement, a environmental protection agency requirement that must be done in order for you to be competitive for federal grant.

Tony Winton:

Right. And it's already in work. It should be awarded in December, right. I mean, the funding for the yes for the study. Yes. All right. Last Last part of the right lightning round. Well, I think we got two parts. Okay. School boards, okay.

Jan Dillow:

Yeah, the village did a really excellent job. This week, we're doing a condo condominium owners forum with Vicki Lopez and Raquel Reg, a lotto and insurance representatives and somebody from the county. So you guys did a great job, bringing everybody bringing everybody together. And I think we all really appreciate that. And we'd like to see another one about insurance. But

Tony Winton:

although i i think you could have used the little five minute timer for the village council meetings here to some of the presenters. Just a little point, they are

Jan Dillow:

politicians. But um, so I can you give us an update on the certifications? Four of the buildings, I think there's 3833 Eight, right?

Steve Williamson:

Yes. Well, first of all, thank you for recognizing that because that was a lot of hard work to put that together. We brought we brought the idea back in August, we talked about ourselves amongst ourselves. We talked to the commissioner's office, we talked to the representatives office, and we really wanted to ask the questions what do we believe that our residents need and want and here we are two and a half years later after Surfside the collapse. Surfside, we've learned so much since then. Not I have we learned so much people are now actually paying attention to it. What do we do about taking care of our buildings? How do we certify how do we make sure that the boards that we You elect to run our condominiums can do what they're supposed to do. And then how do we address this thing called insurance in Florida, which is coming at us in ways that I don't think we've ever seen before. So we really wanted to bring those folks together. And yes, we do plan to do a another insurance, another separate individual insurance symposium sometime in the March, February March timeframe. So more to follow on that. So how are we doing? So I think you heard me say on Wednesday night when the collapse at Champlain towers happened back in June of 2021. I literally was on the job for a little bit more than a month. And that was a great learning experience. And the good news is I had a building official, overnight, Alaska and his caliber and his talent. We spent hours and hours and hours and time and time and time gathering the records that we had and all of our buildings putting together so that we could clearly understand the status of our buildings. Were they in damage, were they not in damage? And the good news is, were they in danger? Were they not in danger. And the good news is none of our buildings were in danger. But many of them have not gone through their certification recertification requirements. So we what we did is we put a very detailed process in place of our 38 buildings that require it 15 Are all are all the way done completely certified, the other the math, what would that be 23 are in the worst case through the permitting process. The other ones in plans review, the other ones are actually about to move into construction. So good news, between the government working with our condo associations, we are very well off and keep his game

Jan Dillow:

information available for everybody as available on the website or anywhere.

Steve Williamson:

I don't think we have a separate website that lists that but we do have a nice little chart that I see every two weeks that I'll be happy to make available. Okay, I think that'd be held gives a exactly what stage and what phase they are in terms of completion.

Tony Winton:

One question that was came in that meeting had to deal with the financial requirements that condo associations are going to now have to adhere to starting in 2025, particularly when it comes to reserves. Do you have any sense or feel for how buildings and keep us gain? These 38 buildings? How many of them are current with the reserves? Are we looking at a tsunami of very large assessments for buildings because you know, you're talking about I'm a homeowner in a condo, I've got my I've got this big public works project out there. We have everything else happening in the economy. And I may also have a mammoth catch up on compliance with the reserves that are necessary.

Steve Williamson:

We don't keep those numbers. Obviously we we talk to our condo boards and associations frequently. They they I would imagine they would bring up if they're facing some financial difficulties, particularly if they have some sort of construction coming up. Most of our condos have manage their funding and management. Well, others, I think are learning. I hope all of them are going to be in position when it comes. But you know, we're here to help when they need the village to assist them when it comes to the certification requirements and what we're responsible for doing.

Tony Winton:

Right. But it could be even earlier, there's talk of going to 25 years, right? Well, I

Jan Dillow:

think they said that it was going to be 30, didn't they? Yeah, no.

Steve Williamson:

Well, I mean, I could change I guess you heard Eddie Rojas from the county said they are really deliberating that they think it's going to be 25. Okay, they don't know. I mean, it's not it's still 30. That's where the they're targeting 30. But it could be 25. And we've already identified that we would have 10 buildings that would move into the process earlier, as a result of that. So we've already been communicating with those buildings, we've been letting them know that your certification could be earlier than what you're anticipating.

Jan Dillow:

And as a village, you're responsible for monitoring their compliance with the certifications. But are you guys responsible for any any other information on reserves or working with them with their their servers certification? And maybe you want to explain what that is?

Steve Williamson:

No, our responsibility is to ensure that they're going through the building certification process. When it comes to how the condo associations are run their reserves their finances, that is a state requirement. There's a state that does that. That's their business. We don't want it. We don't want to add another layer of confusion into that. But yes, we are. We are the ones who help Mizpah municipalities help condo associations work their way through the certification process. But again, it also goes back on the responsibility of that board and the structure engineer that they hire.

Tony Winton:

All right, Steve Williamson, and we we could keep you here another two hours of questions. But I do want to give you one final chance to plug the big meeting. So the big meeting the big meeting the workshop, right? You're going to invest in the community come in on the result. Yes. This is yours. Sounds

Steve Williamson:

like the big pumpkin wasn't like Charlie Brown's big pumpkin or something like that. That brings back some memories, doesn't it? Yeah. So um,

Tony Winton:

I didn't ask you what you dressed up for Halloween. You could have done. Yeah, I was

Steve Williamson:

a turtle. Okay. Wow. Yeah. And you know, I wear it every year. So I kind of you know, this year I wore a red bandana Red Hat. And that's Franklin. For those who know, I didn't know that. But that was something something you got to change this year, put a red hat on and a bandana. So I now have a plan every year I wear the same costume, but I wear different accessories. Makes it easy. But anyway, questions. So the big meeting the big meeting, as you know

Tony Winton:

about the Big Dig? I know you don't like that term. But yes, okay, my,

Steve Williamson:

my, my uncle was involved in a big, big and he's lost a lot of hair, I want to keep my hair. So as you know, we've been going through a process that where we started back in August, where we had the initial workshop with the Council, where we talked about the big picture, they gave us guidance, we had one on ones with the council to better understand the direction they want to go in. We brought that information back. We can have a go for another Council workshop so that we could tell them what we've done and get further direction that we can move forward on with council. Both of those meetings were open to the public, there wasn't a intent to have a whole lot of public engagement because it really was an opportunity for the council to give us their guidance. And it was really technical. And it was yeah, it was and it's it's hard stuff. But what we are doing, in fact, the chief resiliency officer Rohan, Samia and I were actually looking at the presentation today, we are going to bring on November 8, next Wednesday, a presentation on how does that village wide approach the eight zones of what we need to do from stormwater roadways? Utility undergrounding? What does that look like? And then very specifically narrow in on zone one, about cost time? What kind of performance do they expect? What is the balance between cost and performance? And then what level of disruption is acceptable to them? So this is going to be an opportunity for them to ask questions, understand what we're trying to do. And if we find out that it's too technical,

Tony Winton:

we'll do it again. Right? November 8, November 8 time, six o'clock, location, Community Center. Okay. Yes. From the lighthouse room. Okay, so now you have the actual all the information need to know this is where you're gonna get a chance to hear from the village officials ask questions interact, try to you know, convey this. And it is got an IT is have a lot of moving parts. It's not and not not an easy thing to digest. So.

Steve Williamson:

And I want to plug that our engineers will be there too, for those who are very technically minded because I know there are many, many, many very well, talented engineers here on Key Biscayne. We'll also have our engineers there to talk those who want to go into more detail

Tony Winton:

gallons per minute, whatever it is, you can get into every stat you want. Yes, you get it better than baseball, Steve Williamson manager or the leadership keep his game. Thank you for coming to antisocial.

Steve Williamson:

Well, thank you both and have a great day, Tony.

Tony Winton:

All right, take care, and we will be back right after this. And we are back on antisocial. I'm Tony Winton. And I'm Jan Dillo. And our guest, Steve Williamson is still going over his charts, because he's wondering if he forgot to say something but but he will be a guest on the show again. It was it is I mean, your reaction to all of this information that we're getting here, is it is it overwhelming. I mean, we're you know, how does how to how do you? I think sort of for yourself?

Jan Dillow:

There's a lot of information. I think it's it's hard to sort of sort some of it through because I think, you know, honestly, I come from a corporate background. So I kind of try and think in corporate terms and things are very different when you're talking about municipalities because I always look at the numbers. And I forget about like grants and all these kinds of things. So for me, it's it's there's a lot of information, but you're right, there's there's a lot to be done.

Tony Winton:

Yeah, there's also the background and we try to report this a little bit in our story is we are looking at the history of of sea level rise. He's now leaving the room, sea level rise and the future of sea level rise, right? And those are models. They're very complex climatological models. You can look at past data and say, Well, this is kind of a very flatline kind of stuff, but in reality or what The science community is saying is, the evidence is pretty strong for this pretty accelerated path increasing in intensity, as the outer years come along. So, you know, the environment of 2040 is a very different environment from the environment of 2060. And that's what you're trying to capture in modeling.

Jan Dillow:

Right. And I think this this year, especially, you know, with the warming of the water here in Florida, and you know, the broad kill die off of, of corals, which wasn't something that was really on our radar before. So I think that's one of the things that you know, that climate change hot waters all over the Atlantic, but it's, it's, it's also one of those things that about climate change, it's, it's, you can't model everything, you know, you it's hard to model everything, because this has never happened before. And sometimes the the thing that you haven't modeled is really important. So, yeah, it's, it's hard to make those kinds of projections out to 2060. I mean, there's, there's conversations that say that these, the heating of this water of the water will change the, you know, the currents. If the current states then that changes, you know, that could have implications for sea level.

Tony Winton:

Absolutely. Because it changes everything else in the system. It's, it's exactly, it's an eco system, and all these aspects interact, interact with each other.

Jan Dillow:

And we were talking about engineering, you know, you're building, you're building something, and it's, you know, you want it to be there for a while. So it is very difficult when you've got those kinds of variabilities.

Tony Winton:

Well, now that we can, we're, we have all those problems in the world. So maybe time to talk about something a little bit lighter. Least my social media feed, at least the last couple of days, and because, you know, it's part of my generation was about this. The Beatles, ladies and gentlemen, you know, the lads from Liverpool, back with an album out in 2020 of the song out in 2023. Now, and then it's pretty amazing. Yeah, we're talking about a single that was just released. Today, today, by the by the surviving members of AI, one might argue the greatest band of all time. Yeah. And a song that is available because of artificial intelligence, a, I found some old recording that Yoko Ono had on a cassette somewhere. And they were able to lift the vocals out and then marry them with modern instruments, and then take this song and give it give it new life. And it just sounds it's the Beatles. Yeah.

Jan Dillow:

It totally is. It must be a little bittersweet. You know, I think for them to, you know, or just an odd feeling to hear yourself, you know, something you did 50 or more years ago, right?

Tony Winton:

Yeah. Especially, especially with members who've passed on particularly, you know, that song was written by John Lennon. Yeah. You know, and it made me kind of sentimental about the day he was shot. You know, that was a student at Columbia University and you know, heard this news breaking on on the new station there 1010 wins. And John Lennon had been shot and so you know, the whole city just kind of gravitated a lot of people gravitated to the Dakota the building he was he was shot outside of and you know, just it brought back all of those memories all flooded back about how the world lost such a talented person.

Jan Dillow:

Yeah, I think there was just such a collective sense of of mourning. At that period, it was just I just remember being just, you know, so you know, just shocked who could you know, who could do that to John Lennon. But we went before we moved here we lived in the Upper West Side which is very you know, where the Dakota is and we would go into the park but strawberry fields which

Tony Winton:

Strawberry Fields? Yeah. So but but the happy news is it's we have another song and and taking you instantly back to the some of the great melodies and creativity of that group. And that's a blessing. Yeah, that that came from this new technology AI. So a lot of scary things about AI that you read about, but this was kind of a really cool thing. Yeah. So anyway, that's my social media. What What have you been would have been doing?

Jan Dillow:

Well, I guess recently, since we just got the news like yesterday that Sam bank been freed was arrested or was convicted on all counts of fraud was was definitely in my feeds. And the amount of ire and anger coming towards him was is so palpable, and yet he seemed like for so long, like when I Guess it's been a year now. He just didn't seem like he understood that that was that all the anger that was, you know, you know, aimed at him I in some ways, but anyway, he's he's convicted of all that nothing he's got another trial now coming up next next year for for this one was for fraud and I think that one's for I'm not sure

Tony Winton:

is it? Is it a case? Do you think of a case of a person who just didn't think the rules applied to them?

Jan Dillow:

You know, I kind of did I mean, I don't know, you know, it seems like he's got that kind of a personality where he just didn't connect, and he just didn't understand. And so that might have been part of it. You know, the rules don't apply to me, because I've always been able to figure I've always been the smartest guy in the room, maybe the Enron thing. I don't know. But, and I guess the other thing that I was noticing in my feed is

Tony Winton:

oh, you texted me about this? Yes. Yes, you did. And we have a report. Reporter right on

Jan Dillow:

coverage of this, because, keep us well, on at the Marine stadium, there's going to be a pickleball games event in January. So like The Hunger Games should be very slow people.

Tony Winton:

I'm sorry. I just find the whole world. The whole word pickleball just makes me like, I don't know. I know the thing.

Jan Dillow:

I know. I can't do I've been a friend of mine has gotten me into our you know, trying it and I'm terrible. Because you know, I do not have good I hand coordination. But it is a

Tony Winton:

total you got trounced by the mayor, Mayor Rascoe.

Jan Dillow:

Well, I'm a beginner first of all, okay, but he is very, he's, he doesn't move very quickly. But if you get the ball anywhere near him, he kills it. Wow. Yeah. So he's definitely good.

Tony Winton:

So kind of like, deceptively, you know, you might underestimate him. Gotcha. Okay.

Jan Dillow:

Yeah. But it's hard when you're playing with me and you don't move because I hit the ball?

Tony Winton:

Well, you should, you should know that we are working on the pickleball story. And that takes me into our last final segment here, which is about the upcoming stories in the independent, we do have some pretty intense coverage, and we will be continuing it on the local crime front. I don't want to get into the overt details about the story. But it involved a situation involving the police officers, and the Department of Children and Families, we will continue to follow that story. As well as the continuing coverage of this story from our guests today that Steve Williamson, the the resilient infrastructure, and adaptation program, or as we call it, the Big Dig. We have those stories coming up, but also coming up. And as the Chief Financial Officer of Miami, Florida State we have give Miami Day.

Jan Dillow:

Yes, give Miami Day is a very important day throughout Florida for nonprofits, such as ours, who, you know, do what they do in a number of different areas, but do what they do really to make this a better community to make make this a better community and a better place if you know Miami Dade, and broadly, but a better place to live. And you've I'm sure everybody has heard a lot about this already. But for us at the Key Biscayne independent, we do rely on, on donations on

Tony Winton:

your generosity, folks, if you're listening to this program, and you like hearing, bringing in the top guests asking the tough questions, getting information out, there's a cost to all of that.

Jan Dillow:

And particularly this year, as we've grown in and added, you know, added a specific reporter for to cover many of our areas. Those things, you know, cost money, and we hope that you will remember us, the Giving Day still giving Miami Giving Day is actually the 16th. But donations can begin as early as the 13th.

Tony Winton:

Yes for give my MBA the 13th. And of course, it's also the entire period. Let's remember, we have matching funds, so your funds are doubled. Right now, if you're listening to us, hey, I can do that. Now. You can wait to the game day period, you can do it now your funds, whatever you give to us during the season will be doubled through a national program called news match. So that's also

Jan Dillow:

important to know, November 1 to December 31, to the end of the year. Right. So So $15,000

Tony Winton:

Yeah, so we get, we get a big boost from that. So now is the time, please. Your generosity is deeply appreciated. It lets us continue to do the kind of quality journalism and move to our expansion and we do have plans to expand it to other communities where we touch custom other all the time. We have other committees approaching us wanting to do the same kind of quality journalism that we do here in Key Biscayne. So your investment in local news is an investment in democracy at the local level, and it's so appreciated and we ask you to do that. And you'll give you one of these for every dollar that comes in for tax deductible and their tax deductible, Jan Dillo. Actually, we should do that again because thank you for CO hosting today. Jen didn't Jen do a great job? Yes. That that's it for me. I just want to, again, thank our guests, Steve Williamson, who's continually running for so many meetings for coming on to the anti social program and for the vacationing John Pesenti. Be safe everybody down there