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MIAMI BEACH RECOVERY
By now most people have heard about the stimulus funds that the federal government is allocating through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The funds are intended to help jumpstart the economy and create new job opportunities.
Since the Federal Government began discussing this program late last year, the City of Miami Beach has been aggressively pursuing these stimulus funds to assist us in addressing many local needs, as well as creating job opportunities. In late fall, the City began working with our congressional delegation to understand the mechanics of a potential Stimulus Bill, and to ensure that the process used to allocate funds was fair for cities, and to Miami Beach in particular.
The Stimulus Bill provides funding to Miami Beach in three ways: direct grants to the City; direct grants to other agencies, which will be spent in the City; and competitive grants for which the City and local agencies will apply.
As of March of this year, the City has identified over $5.5 million in stimulus funds that will be provided to the City of Miami Beach. In addition, the Housing Authority of the City of Miami Beach will receive $313,420 from the Public Housing Capital Fund, and the US Army Corps of Engineers may spend up to $11 million of stimulus funds on beach re-nourishment activities.
These funds represent almost $17 million of stimulus investment in Miami Beach; an additional $7 million of non-stimulus federal funding is currently allocated for other City projects and initiatives.
While this federal funding will help boost the economy and provide additional jobs, the stimulus package also has many other components that are important to Miami Beach’s economic vibrancy.
The stimulus bill includes other elements that may help residents and businesses, including several new tax provisions, health care and unemployment benefits, and adjustments to small business administration loan programs. These are in addition to other new and existing federal programs that provide assistance. As federal agencies release more information regarding other stimulus-funded programs, additional funds will be provided to Miami Beach through competitive grant competitions.
The Mayor, City Commission, and Administration will continue to work together with other agencies to pursue any and all opportunities that may provide a boost for the local economy.