Curbelo Meets with Homestead Officials - South Dade News Leader: Community News | South Dade News Leader | Miami Dade County

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Curbelo Meets with Homestead Officials

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Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 2:35 pm | Updated: 2:46 pm, Fri Apr 28, 2017.

Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R) met with Mayor Jeff Porter, members of City Council, and Department Supervisors including Chief of Police Al Rolle at Homestead City Hall on Friday, April 21st.

After a welcome from Mayor Porter thanking the Congressman for his past help with federal funding, Congressman Curbelo began with, "the goal ultimately is to make people happy, and economic growth is the cure for that."

Curbelo complimented those in attendance as being a strong case for good government, noting in his opinion the City of Homestead makes progress quickly and works cooperatively.

Curbelo presented an informal overview of what he and Congress are moving forward. He hopes to see a strong push with tax reform, because taxes haven't been thoroughly examined since 1986.

He would like to see the economy grow by 3 to 3.5 percent, compared to the current growth of 1.5 to 2 %. Curbelo believes that with tax reform comes jobs, which he feels is especially needed for 20 somethings coming out of high school and college, and who now, can't find adequate employment.

Curbelo mentioned that healthcare is still on the agenda in Washington, but unfortunately is "more ideological, not substantive." He feels the healthcare marketplace needs to have much more transparency of pricing, to create competitive pricing.

City Manager George Gretsas noted that council is very close to signing the contracts for demolition of the current buildings along Krome Ave, making way for the new, $55 million, entertainment complex. The construction contracts for the project will follow shortly thereafter.

Gretsas also mentioned that the Cybrary project is garnering a lot of excitement. During presentations to the community about the project, Gretsas stated that kids are excited, but that seniors are especially engaged by the virtual reality interaction.

Mayor Porter discussed transit development, stating that South Dade has six transit routes identified, and now the decision lies with expediency being best.

"We need the Congressman to work with the county to unravel the football" in hopes of moving forward.

The discussion moved toward bus rapid transit, BRT, which combines the capacity and speed of a train with the lower cost and simplicity of a bus system. Curbelo stated, "The important thing is to make a decision. Infrastructure funding, in what I believe could be $200 to $300 billion in federal funds will be available and I wouldn't want to see you miss out," said Curbelo.

Councilman Elvis Maldonado noted a FIU study linking a spillover from Miami's high housing costs bringing people to live in South Dade. But without adequate transportation alternatives, "they are sitting in their cars for two hours. Transportation is key."

From left: Councilman Elvis Maldonato, Councilman Jimmie Williams III, Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Mayor Jeff Porter, Councilman Larry Roth, and City Manager George Gretsas.

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