Zika takes bite out of
Miami-Dade Budget; 2016

In September of 2016, Carlos Gimenez outlined his proposed 2016 - '17 budget. balanced at $7.1 billion, of which $4.9 billion is allocated for operating expenses. The proposed tax rate is unchanged from last year at 9.2 mils of every $1,000 of taxable property value.

The proposed budget included $200 million for 40 additional police officers; $200 million for what Gimenez called the over-due redevelopment of Liberty Square, Liberty City, and Lincoln Gardens. Funls have been allocated for Employ Miami-Dade. which is aimed at residents in neighborhoods with high unemployment rates for training and job placement. Gimenez also set aside funds for youth safety and youth unemployment.

The budget will provide funding for the SMART planto address the county's transportation system.

Gimenez said that $500,000 has been added to pay for a sea-level study that was recommended by the Sea Level Rise Task Force.

Regional libraries will be able to stay open seven days a week and the main library will add extra hours.

For the November 8 election, the budget allows for 10 additional early voting sites to be added.

$20 million was set aside for animal care.

But the budget took a hit with fighting mosquito control for Zika and a campaign finance initiative started by some voters. Canvassing of the petitions cost $400,000 in unanticipated expenses.

Gimenez did not announce a budget for the Citizens Investigatrive Panel. The panel independently reviews complaints by citizens against Miami-Dade Police. The program ended in 2009.

Also disapointed were supporters of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Leroy Jones, executive director of Neighbors and Neighbors Association, asked the Commission Board members, Gimenez and the Office of Management to support the program. NANA administers the Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program and as many commissioners admitted, other duties assigned.

Jones' program is funded through the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Develoopment. Jones said NANA operated last year without funding. Gimenez said Jones and the Circle of Brotherhood do outreach for his Employ Miami-Dade initiative.

The current operating budget is approximately $4,865,089,000.



Carolyn Guniss. The Miami Times. September 14-20, 2016. 1A.