Written by Miami Today on March 10, 2011
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REASON TO LEAVE: After deferring the item at a previous meeting, Miami commissioners are to vote today (3/10) on a proposed one-month early retirement incentive expected to save $6 million in salary expenses this fiscal year. Those electing to leave the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) early from March 15-April 15 would pay the same health care contribution as active employees for up to seven years after retiring.
MEGA-YACHT MARINA VOTE: State officials are to vote on granting a state waiver to Flagstone Property Group for its planned Watson Island development April 5, Madeline Valdes, City of Miami director of public facilities, wrote in an e-mail. Because the project sits on an island given to Miami by the state in 1949 for public use, any commercial development requires state approval. If approved by the state, city commissioners are to then vote on the project again April 14, she said.
BINGO!: In a bid to bring 400 jobs to Miami-Dade, the county commission last week supported the state’s push to allow bingo at state-gambling facilities. According to county documents, if approved by the state, the games could create about 100 jobs per facility, four of which are within county boundaries.
TOURISM FIGURES: Miami-Dade hotel occupancy dropped 0.8% in January to 74.5% from 75.1% in January 2010, according to Smith Travel Research’s Trend Report. January’s average daily rate rose 4% to $171.51 compared to January 2010’s $164.88.
OVERNIGHT VISITORS: Total Miami-Dade overnight visitors rose year over year 5.6% in 2010 to 12.6 million visitors from 11.9 million in 2009. Domestic overnight visitors also climbed in 2010 to 6.5 million visitors compared to 6.2 million in 2009, a 4.7% year over year rise. International overnight visitors spiked 6.6% in 2010 to 6.1 million visitors over 5.7 million in 2009.
RIDE TRANSIT: The American Public Transportation Association ranked Miami 16th in the country for transit savings with $9,781 saved annually and $815 saved per month, when factoring in local gas prices, the purchase of monthly public transportation passes and local monthly unreserved parking rates. Miami is just under the average transit-use savings of $9,904 annually and roughly $825 per month, which is the highest savings in two years. New York’s public transportation system ranked first with an annual savings of $14,376 and monthly savings of $1,198.
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