After years of negotiating, it’s time to make a deal to use Homestead Air Reserve Base land for Miami-Dade County aviation purposes, according to Commissioner Dennis Moss.
Commissioners are to decide Oct. 6 whether to OK his resolution to direct Mayor Carlos Giménez to “expeditiously effectuate a joint use agreement with the United States of America to allow for a fixed-base operator” at the base.
The directive comes six years into county talks with the Air Force on developing the south side of the base’s airfield for general aviation.
Commissioners in December 2015 adopted a resolution by Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Mr. Moss directing the administration to negotiate for limited civilian use at the air base. The county’s request reached the desk of then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson 2½ years later, according to a Miami-Dade Aviation spokesman.
The timeframe to complete a joint-use agreement with the Air Force is “generally one to three years,” a memo from Mayor Giménez said at the time.
The resolution, which cleared a county committee last week, would instruct the mayor to finish all prerequisite work, pinpoint costs and find funds to establish a general aviation operator at the base, then negotiate and cut a deal with the Air Force, including any needed property exchange.
Mr. Giménez would then have to submit the agreement for approval to the next commission meeting without having a committee’s prior review, a break from standard county contract protocol.
Within two months or “upon determination … that no funding source is available, legal or other impediments exist, or that negotiations are at an impasse,” he would have to report on the obstacles and the status of negotiations and recommend further action.
Mr. Diaz said he and Mr. Moss have worked together “for many years [to make] sure we have a dual-use airport” at the air base.