Written by Miami Today on May 17, 2012
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IS RAIL ON TRACK? Florida East Coast Railway says it should have a study completed next month to determine whether to build a privately funded Miami-to-Orlando passenger rail. The ridership study would determine whether the company moves forward on the $1 billion project. If results of the study are good, construction could begin next year.
COUNTY CHECKS: The Miami-Dade County commission preliminarily approved Tuesday an item that would require criminal background checks on private individuals leasing county-owned property. The item only relates to private entities operating facilities that provide programs and services for children or developmentally disabled individuals on county land. Mayor Carlos Gimenez is to report to the commission any instance in which a criminal background check reveals adverse information.
MILITARY AFFAIRS: To enhance the quality of life for Miami-Dade’s active, reserve, retired and disabled military personnel, the county commission on Tuesday unanimously created a board dedicated to military affairs. The Military Affairs Board is to provide commissioners with recommendations regarding the armed forces. The board is to consist of 24 members, with Mayor Carlos Gimenez, each member of the commission, county military branches, the Miami-Dade Defense Alliance, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Red Cross electing participants. Terms are set at three years.
UP AND UP: Greater Miami’s tourism-related tax collections continued to increase in March, reports William Talbert III, CEO and president of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Convention development tax collections totaled $7.22 million in March, up 10% from March 2011. Resort tax collections also increased 10% to $2.43 million, while food and beverage tax collections grew 8% to about $700,000.
COUNTY LOBBYING: Work may be getting easier for Miami-Dade lobbying teams. The county commission preliminarily approved Tuesday an item that exempts lobbyists who have not made expenditures during the preceding calendar year from filing spending statements with the county. The county code now requires that lobbyists submit a signed statement listing all lobbying expenditures totaling more than $25, regardless of whether they spent during the reporting period. The statements list each expense by category, including food and beverage, entertainment, research, communication, lodging and travel.