FYI Miami: September 21, 2017
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HEAVY LIFTING AID: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez wrote to President Donald Trump this week asking that the US government pay a higher than usual share of the costs of cleanup and recovery here from Hurricane Irma and that the federal government extend the relief period beyond the first 30 days after the storm. The mayor wrote that “early projections from our Department of Solid Waste Management indicate that we will collect about 400,000 tons of debris resulting from Hurricane Irma, which is a significantly higher tonnage than what we collect in bulky waste pickup and trash and recycling centers in an entire year.” The mayor’s request, if granted, would increase federal payments from 75% of all costs to 100% for some portions of public assistance.
HURRICANE HOTEL OUTFLOW: As Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida, Miami-Dade had the nation’s largest drop in hotel occupancy, down 20.2% to 50.9%, and also the largest decrease in revenue per available room, falling 25.5% to $65.55, according to STR, which tracks travel industry statistics across the nation. Nationally, in the week ended Sept. 9, hotel occupancy rates rose 2.1% to 64% and revenue per available room rose 3.7% to $77.31.
HUGS FOR SOLID WASTE: At their meeting Tuesday, Miami-Dade commissioners praised the Department of Solid Waste for its work cleaning up streets and helping residents following Hurricane Irma. “We often talk about first responders, and solid waste is a first responder,” said Barbara Jordan. “I just want to give them a giant hug,” Ms. Jordan said. Daniella Levine Cava echoed her statements: “It’s exciting to see the best of everyone come out. I want to be a part of the group hug.” Mayor Carlos Giménez was also happy with the work of the department, saying, “What a great job you did before, during and after Irma. I can’t say enough about the work that you’re doing.” Chairman Esteban Bovo Jr. said there’d be plenty of time to thank the department, and in the meantime, “free hugs by Commissioner Jordan later today.” (See Trash Talk, page 2).
COUNTY ISSUES NO CITATIONS: At a county meeting Tuesday, Mayor Carlos Giménez cleared up false reports that code enforcement officers were citing people whose homes had code violations after Hurricane Irma. “They did a survey of dangerous [situations] and advised [homeowners] so they could be aware of the danger; we issued no notices of violation and no citations,” he said. After Hurricane Irma, the county postponed all code enforcement for 30 days. The mayor said reports of county officials issuing violations days after the hurricane were false: “this is an unfair characterization of people going out and doing work to keep people safe.”