Written by Miami Today on February 18, 2010
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REBUILD HAITI: To help rebuild Haiti’s economy after last month’s devastating earthquake, Miami-Dade Commission Chair Dennis Moss is hoping to see Congress step up. He’s lobbying for a federal program establishing long-term commitments to purchase products from Haiti "that could be produced in large job-intensive factories," his proposed legislation says. "Such a program would provide the incentives, stability and certainty needed to encourage businesses to establish locations in Haiti, as there would be a ready market for Haitian made products," it says. County commissioners are to vote whether to support the idea today (2/18).
HELP HERE: Miami-Dade officials are also looking to designate locations throughout the county where qualified Haitian nationals can apply for temporary protected status and Haitian Americans repatriated to the US as a result of the earthquake can get information about available social services. That vote is also scheduled for today (2/18).
LIGHTS, CAMERA, HOPING FOR ACTION: To lure film production back to Miami-Dade, County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro is rallying for state legislation that would create a tax-based incentive program. Florida’s existing film incentive was funded at $25 million in fiscal 2008, fell to $5 million in fiscal 2009 and saw some recovery this year to $10.8 million. But industry players and proponents say it’s not enough. He hopes to see legislation pass in Tallahassee that would transform the program from a cash-reimbursement model to a tax-credit model, helping protect the bait from future state budget cuts.
THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT MIGHT: The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is slowly chugging toward an overhaul as part of an initiative to create a zoo-area entertainment Mecca, with Miami-Dade commissioners to consider today (2/18) a revised plan for the South Dade railroad facility. The plan proposes added train buildings, exhibit and banquet areas, a train yard, a Miami Military Museum, and new retail, food and parking along Main Street. But, for now there’s no money to complete the revamp, though it’s expected a private developer will make improvements along Main Street.
MERCY MOVEMENT: Mercy Foundation President Josie Romano Brown is to leave the post at the end of March after nine years but stay on as an outside consultant. A replacement has yet to be lined up, according an outside spokesperson, but Mercy Hospital CEO John C. Johnson and other members of the executive staff will be interviewing potential candidates as Ms. Brown prepares to leave.