Written by Miami Today on January 31, 2013
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ENGINE FOR HOMESTEAD: A master plan for 601 county-owned acres of the former Homestead Air Force Base is to be developed within six months under a resolution that Miami-Dade commissioners passed 11-0 last week. The plan could set the stage to develop a movie studio or other economic force on land the US Air Force deeded to the county in 2006. Real estate mogul Donald Trump said in November he had plans for an 800-acre film studio complex in Homestead, a project that could include the county’s plan.
NEW CITY HALL: Homestead has requested proposals to build a new city hall to replace one the city is vacating this week because of high levels of radon, mold and asbestos throughout the 1959-vintage building at US 1 and Campbell Drive. The new city hall will rise on Washington Avenue in downtown Homestead. Meanwhile, as of Feb. 1 city staff will relocate to temporary offices at 650 NE 22nd Terrace and all public meetings will be held at the Dickinson Community Center, 1601 N Krome Ave. The city has sought a new city hall through the late 1990s and had made plans to sell the present site. Details: www.cityofhomestead.com
MALL CASINOS SURVIVE: Without discussion, Miami-Dade commissioners last week voted 7-4 to kill a measure that would have banned "simulated gambling devices" in the county and levied fines of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail for violators. The target was to be Internet cafes and strip mall casinos. State officials estimate about 1,000 of them exist in Florida. Voting for the ban were commissioners Sally Heyman, Jean Monestime, Javier Souto and Juan Zapata. Voting no were Barbara Jordan, Audrey Edmonson, Bruno Barreiro, Rebeca Sosa, Xavier Suarez, Lynda Bell and Jose "Pepe" Diaz. The devices and their operators remain unregulated.
TICKET TAKERS: Miami-Dade commissioners last week voted 10-0 on how to divvy up the free tickets government receives to sporting and other events. They took money instead of tickets from the Sony Open tennis tournament on Key Biscayne, splitting the cash equally for park and recreation program uses. They also split the 664 luxury suite tickets for Miami Marlins games to distribute in the community. They voted to divide all other tickets 14 ways, with Mayor Carlos Gimenez getting an equal share.
NEW FIRE CHIEF: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez appointed David Downey fire chief, effective Feb. 2, following the retirement of William W. Bryson. Chief Downey is a 30-year veteran of the fire service.