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More political intrigue over baggage-wrap contract at Miami International Airport


A last-minute item before Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday would mean a $6 million rent break for Secure Wrap, the politically connected vendor with an exclusive contract to encase luggage in plastic at the county-owned Miami International Airport.

The resolution to waive bidding procedures for an amended contract bypassed the traditional commission committee system, and will face a first, and final, vote at Tuesday’s meeting if no commissioner objects to hearing the item. It would mean a significant windfall for Secure Wrap, which last fall won a crackdown on outside competitors only to see the new rules vetoed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

At the time, Secure Wrap said the baggage-wrap industry outside MIA — including home set-ups available at hardware stores — was crippling its business with lower fees. Gimenez objected to stifling competition, saying the company should ask for its rent to be renegotiated. Secure Wrap, which gave more than $50,000 to commission reelection campaigns since 2014, initially won support of the rule on a 10-to-2 vote on Oct. 6, but fell one vote short in overriding Gimenez’s veto two weeks later.

The new proposal comes from Gimenez and includes a package of concessions for Secure Wrap: Instead of paying 52 percent of its revenue to the county-owned airport, it would pay 35 percent. Its minimum rent would drop nearly two-thirds, from $9.6 million to $3.5 million. And Secure Wrap would receive a credit for rent already owed in 2016, with MIA giving the company a $2.7 million refund.

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