Regalado to be on the island Sept 22.jpeg

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado will be at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Wednesday, Sept. 22 to listen to concerns and suggestions island residents and Village officials have on the Rickenbacker privatization plan.

Regalado will be accompanied by staff from the County involved in the RFP process.

That meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. and will air live on Ch. 77.

Staff members, including those with the Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces (PROS) department, which is overseeing the county’s unsolicited Request for Proposal (RFP) from a group called the “Plan Z Consortium,” will be on hand, opening the possibility for amending the RFP before the now-extended Dec. 13 bidding deadline.

In the meantime, Village officials are asking all residents and stakeholders to share their concerns or ideas related to the causeway directly with the city’s staff by using the dedicated email, RickenbackerRFP@keybiscayne.fl.gov, and they will relay those messages to Regalado’s staff “to help drive the direction of the Town Hall meeting.”

Another avenue would be to send your Letters to the Editor at the Islander News and those suggestions also will be relayed.

All residents are invited to attend, either in person or remotely.

The current RFP reportedly includes amenities to the Rickenbacker, such as an observation deck, bike shop, banquet facility, upgrades to parkland and beaches, 36-foot wide bicycle (and pedestrian) paths, three lanes of traffic at 11 feet per lane; the all-important replacement of Bear Cut Bridge, repairs to the William M. Powell Bridge, and decades-long control of the tolls and approved concessions.

Improvements to the Venetian Causeway also are rolled into the RFP, which has a reported price tag of just over $500 million.

The Rickenbacker Causeway opened in 1947.

A pre-bid conference for prospective bidders on the the RFP took place Thursday morning.

Village of Key Biscayne Mayor Mike Davey knows how important of a decision this could be, one that could eventually affect tolls, property values and business operations.

When a bidder is finally selected after the Dec. 13 deadline, the county will enter into an interim agreement with that winner for 18 months.

A lot of things can happen during that time, even letting the RFP lapse and starting all over.

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