FYI Miami: July 26, 2018
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METROMOVER FARE DEFERRED: A resolution directing the mayor’s office to examine a fare for Metromover, as well as new technologies to improve such a process, was deferred for later discussion by county commissioners in the Transportation and Public Works Committee July 18. The 4.4-mile automated downtown train cost 25 cents per ride until 2002, when voters approved a half-cent sales tax as part of the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP), which partially funded free Metromover use in addition to countywide transit expansion. Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, who joined Dennis Moss and Eileen Higgins in not supporting the resolution without broader community support, said the transportation department works at a deficit partially because PTP funds meant for free circulator services like trolleys are used improperly by municipalities like South Miami, Key Biscayne, Hialeah Gardens, Golden Beach, Florida City, El Portal and Biscayne Park. “The funding those cities are receiving were specific for that,” she said. Deferring the item until fall, Commissioner Sally Heyman, reiterated prior remarks from her co-prime sponsor of the item, Barbara Jordan. “That half-penny is paid countywide, and we pay for different services,” she said. “This is exclusive to one area, one mode of service, and is totally subsidized. It’s time we revised it and see what the outcome is.”
FALLING COMPLETIONS COSTLY: Miami Dade College will get less than last year when Florida’s 28 state colleges receive $60 million in performance funding during the academic year that started this month. All 28 will receive shares of $30 million in “institutional” performance funding that is part of their recurring budgets, including $4.34 million for Miami Dade College. But the school won’t get a slice of a second $30 million of performance funds. Miami Dade, the largest school in the state system, received $4.4 million in that performance funding category last year. A key measure that slipped for Miami Dade was the four-year completion rate, which fell from 58% to 55.3% in the new evaluation.
ZIKA NUMBERS FALL: While the number is down from the past two years, Florida has had 59 reported cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 2018, according to a state Department of Health website. Miami-Dade County has recorded 13 cases, second most in the state. The disease, which caused major concerns in 2016, is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. The 59 cases reported as of Monday are all classified as “travel related” – generally meaning people were infected elsewhere and brought the virus into the state. The largest number of reported cases, 22, has been in Collier County, according to the state website. Florida had 262 reported cases statewide in 2017 and 1,471 cases in 2016.