Homestead Council Advances Cultural and Infrastructure Projects

The Homestead City Council has made strides in cultural and infrastructure development, as evidenced by the recent council meeting that highlighted several community projects. Notably, the council moved forward with plans for the Chrome Marketplace and the William Chome sculpture, while also approving a substantial grant for park trails and significant settlements.

Delving into the Chrome Marketplace proposal by Society 8 Hospitality Group, the council addressed a food hall concept, which includes a dining experience, brewery bar, and live entertainment to revitalize the Old Edison building. The comprehensive plan raised numerous questions, particularly concerning the financial arrangements. Council members debated the terms of rent, facility management fee, kiosk rents, building maintenance, landscaping, and tenant improvements. The discussion also considered whether to reserve the Northern Bay for alternative ventures, reflecting concerns about the risk of focusing investment too heavily on a single concept.

The council members scrutinized the architectural design of the building. They entertained suggestions to modify the business model and adapt the plan to accommodate diverse concepts while ensuring the project’s viability. Additionally, the timeline for enhancements to Chrome Avenue, including sidewalks, lighting, and streetscaping, was evaluated, with a call for further input to advance these plans.

Another focal point was the William Chome sculpture, a bronze feature to honor the historical figure, with the artist under a professional services agreement to complete the first deliverable within 60 days. Lee loning of Bad River artworks, the commissioned artist, had initiated changes to the original concept, integrating elements like a handkerchief, a replica transit box, and a pencil behind Chome’s ear. The artist also conveyed that the pace of progress was swift, potentially aligning the sculpture’s unveiling with the Fourth of July celebrations.

Public commentary during the meeting touched on various concerns. Harold Ford voiced dissatisfaction with the termination of the city manager and cited a lack of checks and balances within the city’s governance structure. Council members did not respond to these remarks during the meeting.

Further discussions ensued about the William Chome sculpture’s design specifics, with council members examining the historical accuracy of details such as the figure’s pose, facial expressions, and attire. Variations in opinion emerged on the sculpture’s orientation and the placement of an informational plaque to educate the public about Chome’s legacy. The artist provided justifications for the creative choices.

The council approved a consent agenda that included a tab concerning form six litigation and resolved a resolution for a grant award from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The grant, amounting to $120,000 for the James Archer Smith Park trails project, required a city match of $30,000 from impact fees. The resolution’s passage authorized the city manager to finalize the grant agreement and initiate the project’s implementation.

Settlement approvals were another critical aspect of the council’s actions. The council consented to a settlement with Stephanie McIntosh for $25,000 and with Blake Weber for $275,000, resolving all claims. A public member sought clarification on the city’s approach to real settlement discussions.

Additionally, the council acknowledged upcoming events like the Rotary Charitable Foundation Seafood Festival and extended congratulations to fellow colleagues on personal milestones.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Steven D. Losner
City Council Officials:
Sean L. Fletcher, Erica G. Ávila, Jenifer N. Bailey, Clemente Canabal, Tom Davis, Larry Roth

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