City Leaders Meet with FPL

On January 24th, after a disastrous weekend of water shut downs and a pole fire, city leaders met with FPL project managers about their on-going hardening project in Keystone. Sitting in from the city were Police Chief Larry Juriga, Asst. City Manager Aneisha Daniel, and Public Works Director Wisler Pierre. Representing FPL were their Government Relations representative as well as a combined six staff members working respectively on the “hardening” (placing new poles” and “boring” (digging holes) departments. It was a lengthy and detailed meeting. Here are some highlights: FPL will prepare a “checklist” of major items that need to be completed, as well as a timeline for the work. I will post that checklist as soon as I have it. The pole fire was caused by a new pole that apparently shifted slightly at the base, causing it to lean toward an old pole, which was still live. WIth a shortened distance between the poles coupled with rain on the night of the fire, power “arced” from one to the other. To assure future fires don’t occur, a pole-by-pole inspection is taking place. Both FPL and city staff are working together. Also, additional insulation is being added to the tops of each pole. North Miami police will daily be on site to help direct traffic. FPL will conduct two sessions of “restorations” where they restore damaged private properties to new. One will be in three weeks. The other will be at the very end of all work. At some point, the bridge on North Bayshore Drive will be periodically shut down. This timeline will be detailed on FPL’s forthcoming “checklist” of items. Once we know the dates, the city will work with FPL to announce the dates and hours of shut down. NMPD will be part of managing all of this. Though FPL will complete their work relatively soon, it could take up to one year before all the old poles are removed. That’s because both AT&T and Comcast have up-to-six months each (not concurrently) to remove their wires. This is due to a State law that gives them that amount of time. The city plans to contact those utility companies to get them to expedite their work. Water service was lost twice last week. In the first instance (Thursday) was caused with machines being used to dig hole vibrated a pipe apart. The second (Friday) was caused when FPL crews dug in a spot they thought was clear. But in actuality, a water pipe was underneath. To fix this, city public works crews have begun a walk-thru of all areas in question to assure everything is clearly and accurately marked. The city acknowledges we need to greatly improve our methods of letting residents know when there is a boil water order. We are going to come up with a plan that might include digital announcements as well as text-messaging. Let me know your questions as I’m sure I’ve missed something. FPL representatives will be on the Keystone Homeowners Zoom this Thursday, Jan 27th at 7:00 pm. Email for the link.