Written by Miami Today on April 8, 2010
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DEBT MANAGEMENT: A comprehensive debt management policy is on the way for Miami-Dade County. Commissioners voted without discussion Tuesday to direct the administration to come up with a formal, inclusive, streamlined policy to manage the county’s billions in bonds. The reason, sponsor Commissioner Joe Martinez has said: "we don’t have one." The county does "have a hodgepodge of different things," but he said rating agencies have pointed out the county’s lack of a "comprehensive" policy.
ALL ABOARD: Miami-Dade is seeking funding to recreate the historic Richmond Train Station at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in South Dade. The project would connect to an adjacent rail line "that serves all national rail transportation networks," documents say. It would give "residents and tourists the opportunity to connect to both North and South Miami-Dade County… in the form of simple tourist rides or if properly planned more complex mass transit." Now, the county’s after a $336,235 grant for project development and environmental plans preparation. Commissioners ratified the application Tuesday.
MOVER MEMORABILIA: The county also plans to donate two obsolete Metromover cars to South Dade’s Railroad Museum "to use the vehicles as part of its historical exhibit," documents say. Commissioners OK’d the donation Tuesday with no discussion. ONE TO GO: Collective bargaining agreements with nine of Miami-Dade’s 10 unions have been cemented after commissioners approved a contract with transit workers Tuesday. That leaves only the water and sewer labor group, set to go to impasse next month. Outstanding union contracts meant spending $119.5 million more than planned this fiscal year as employees continued getting last year’s larger paychecks. Like the other unions, transit workers agreed to put 5% of pay toward health insurance, but they also got added perks — immunity from layoffs through July 2011 and a bonus designed to decrease absenteeism.
HOLA, BILBAO: Miami-Dade Aviation and Spain’s Bilbao Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping are to join forces after county commissioners asked for an "international cooperation" agreement Tuesday. The proposed pact asks the aviation department and Bilbao chamber "to exchange information about cargo and passengers at each one of their airports… [and] begin to work in the creation and promotion of passenger and air traffic by means of exchanges, educational/commercial visits and serving as goodwill ambassadors."