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Mayor Gimenez backtracks on cuts to agriculture budget

Following an outpouring of support, agricultural services will not face the drastic reductions originally proposed in the county budget.

The Miami Herald, posted on Friday August 12,2011.

By Christina Veiga
cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

More than 100 people packed into the council chamber at town hall in Palmetto Bay for a meeting the discuss the Miami-Dade County budget, Tuesday, August 9, 2011. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez discussed his proposed county budget, answered questions, and took public comments.

South Miami-Dade’s agriculture community will not face the dire cuts originally proposed in Mayor Carolos Gimenez’s preliminary budget.

The announcement, made Tuesday by a mayoral aide at a budget town hall meeting in Palmetto Bay, was met with cheers from supporters who have recently flooded elected officials with calls, e-mails, letters and visits.

The county’s agricultural extension service and agricultural manager’s office will still face cuts, however. Ag extension is now poised to lose $140,000 instead of the $800,000 originally proposed. And the agricultural manager’s office is expected to lose its assistant, while the rest of the manager’s budget will be restored with a federal grant, county spokeswoman Vanessa Santana-Peñate said.

Still, compared to the drastic cuts initially proposed, the new plan is a “tremendous blessing,”said Theresa Smith, director of communications for the Dade County Farm Bureau.

To read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/10/2353728/mayor-gimenez-backtracks-on-cuts.html

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