The State of Florida has been allocated federal funding for disaster mitigation projects through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation Program (CDBG-MIT). As a requirement for funding, states are required to provide HUD with an Action Plan outlining their plans for allocating the funds.
The State of Florida’s Action Plan was posted on the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) website with a 45-day public comment period.
The City provided comments to the Action Plan, and a request for funding. Although the full application will not be available until later this year, the Administration took the step of requesting funding at this early stage. The City provided an outline of key factors that make Miami Beach unique, including the economic impact of tourism to the state, estimated at $58 million in Resort Tax Revenues and more than $30 million in Food and Beverage Tax Revenues annually.
The City’s response also requested that the state include funding for the following key mitigation projects, which were either not included or not allocated sufficient funding in the plan, including:
· Storm Water Management Program which will reduce the risk of localized flooding.
· Water and Sewer Line Funding, especially on evacuation routes including city causeways.
· Private and Public Seawalls – Funding is needed for private seawall enhancements to elevate and replace seawalls and protect our most vulnerable areas. Of the 63 miles of seawalls in Miami Beach, 60 miles of seawalls are privately-owned. Funding is needed to assist private property owners to elevate their seawalls to the newly established elevation of 5.7 feet NAVD88.
· Critical Infrastructure including construction of a new Fire Station.
The City’s response to the State's Action Plan also listed prior accomplishments and highlighted the City’s organizational capacity and previous work to alleviate flooding. The City’s response to the Action Plan was included in the Countywide response submitted by the Miami-Dade County Local Mitigation Strategy Working Group as part of the regional response.
Upon approval of the plan, DEO will work with stakeholders to develop the application and distribute the federal funds.