Dade prioritizes: Mayor Alvarez targets 11 pages of projects worth $7.2 billion
By Risa Polansky
Metrorail extensions, a tunnel to the Port of Miami and a new detention center top Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez's list of projects for federal economic stimulus funds.
He outlines his chief priorities in a letter to lawmakers.
Attached to Mr. Alvarez's note: 11 pages of projects totaling $7.2 billion.
The mayor said last week he envisioned a targeted list of the county's top-priority, shovel-ready projects to attract the federal dollars President-elect Barack Obama has said he plans to pump into infrastructure and public works projects nationwide.
"There are literally dozens" of local projects, Mr. Alvarez said. "It's just a matter of prioritizing them."
Commission Chair Dennis Moss said the same last week, calling for a strategic list of high-priority city and county projects rather than "pulling together a thousand different projects."
The mayor's letter to congressional leaders, dated Tuesday, pinpoints a handful of what he calls "important" and "critical" initiatives, including not only specific capital endeavors such as the port tunnel but also requests such as a funding boost to help fortify Miami-Dade's coastline.
In his letter, Mr. Alvarez called his shortlist of highlighted items "some of our county's top concerns as we look for ways to boost our employment and lay the foundation for new economic growth."
The accompanying package lists 215 projects.
"The attached list is not simply a "wish list' but a blueprint for the future," he wrote.
It's not a final draft.
The plan, he said, is to work with commissioners in the coming weeks "to further prioritize our needs and refine the list once the formal federal guidelines and processes are established."