Miami-Dade library near Aventura saved from closure, mayor announces

Miami-Dade County has taken one more public library off the list of facilities slated for closure.

The California Club branch, 850 Ives Dairy Rd., will remain open, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Thursday evening, bringing down the total number of libraries to be shuttered to 13.

"My administration has been doing everything — and I mean everything — we can" to save more libraries, he said.

Gimenez made the announcement at a town-hall style budget meeting held in a packed Palmetto Bay Commission chambers.

"Libraries are the future of our kids," read one of many homemade signs waved by residents at the meeting.

Gimenez had initially said nearly half of the county’s 49 libraries — 22 of them — might be shut down due to budget cuts. The cuts stem from the mayor’s recommendation, approved by county commissioners, to keep the property-tax rate flat for the 2013-14 budget year.

Over the past few weeks, Gimenez’s staff has reduced by nine the number of libraries on the hit list, under pressure from commissioners and residents concerned over the closures.

Also facing the budget ax are three fire trucks. Three rescue trucks initially proposed for elimination have already been saved.

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