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Economic Development

Economic Stimulus Dollars at Work

When President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in February, Miami-Dade County jumped at the chance for available stimulus money. Altogether, the County is seeking millions of dollars for many projects.

The Miami-Dade Public Housing Agency is already drawing money from a multi-million dollar grant, approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to improve energy efficiency at public housing units. The County's Agricultural Manager was awarded $2 million, part of which will help local farmers. More than $145,000 has been granted to provide home-delivered meals to needy residents.  And the County is setting its sights on other ways to kick start the local economy - by enhancing training and e m p l o y me n t services through South Florida Workforce - and expanding services such as adding wireless Internet access on Metrorail and building bus rapid transit along Kendall Drive.

Nationwide, the economic stimulus package includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, advance energy independence, increase educational opportunities as well as preserve and improve affordable healthcare and provide tax relief. The investments aim to create jobs and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth.

The County is committed to tracking dollars as they come in and providing residents and employees with a transparent view of how that money is being spent. Online, www.miamidade.gov/recovery, provides residents with the most up-to-date information on County efforts and available grant opportunities, allows users with subscription access to view timely recovery updates, and offers links to trusted sources of information related to the economic stimulus package.

Not surprisingly, scams have appeared. Be wary of nongovernmental websites and advertisements on social networking sites that have emerged. While many offer "free" advice on how to get government money, don't take the bait. Government grants are not just handed out to everyone who applies; specific criteria must be met. Information on applying for funds is free and available on the County's Recovery website and Grants Coordination website: www.miamidade.gov/ogc.

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With grant awards totaling nearly $200 million and another $300 million in requests, we're taking advantage of federal stimulus dollars to address local priorities -- like job growth, public safety, affordable housing, transportation and more. Want to follow the money? Sign up for Recovery Act updates.