October 23, 2014

Economic Development

Miami's Rush for New Construction Jobs

David Villano | 10/1/2008

In the Express Lane
Some projects accelerated under the
county’s stimulus package:

Project Estimated cost Projected start date
1. Regional commuter facility at MIA $35 million November 2008
2. Homeless facility $14 million None yet
3. South Dade animal shelter $13.5 million August 2009
4. MIA office remodeling $11.5 million December 2008
5. Wastewater treatment pilot project $8.8 million Under way
6. Southridge Aquatic Center $6.5 million February 2009
7. Country Club of Miami community center $5.2 million December 2008
Source: Miami-Dade County
Miami-Dade leaders hope to create thousands of jobs by fast tracking nearly $650 million in county construction projects. The economic stimulus plan, approved by county commissioners in July, will allow the mayor and county manager to expedite dozens of previously approved and funded projects by streamlining the process for approving bids and by authorizing cost overruns of up to 10%.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who lobbied commissioners to approve the plan, says no additional funding will be required. “The money is already there. It’s just a matter of putting it to use, getting it out on the street and into workers’ pockets,” says Alvarez.

Miami-Dade has been especially hard hit by the real estate downturn. Florida lost 81,600 construction jobs last year, with the bulk of those in Miami-Dade.

County officials say the economic stimulus plan will create roughly 8,500 jobs and almost $400 million in wages, salaries and other employer benefits.

Alvarez says the fast-track approval will remove much of the county’s red tape, without sidestepping competitive bidding requirements and oversight. “We’re a large government bureaucracy, and we can’t always do things as quickly or efficiently as the private sector,” says Alvarez. “At a time when people need to get back to work, this allows us to operate a bit more efficiently.”

Tags: Politics & Law, Miami-Dade, Government/Politics & Law, Housing/Construction

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