Eleven nonprofit community groups gained a little more financial support after North Miami voted to allocate federal dollars to the organizations at Tuesday’s meeting.
The city council unanimously approved the award of community development block grant funding to the various local organizations that do work in the city. Councilwoman Carol Keys didn’t vote on the item as she serves on the board of the North Miami Foundation for Senior Citizens Services.
North Miami received about $112,000 in funding this fiscal year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and allocated about $23,000 to the city’s summer employment program. That left $88,500 to be split among the organizations that qualified for the funding.
Council members heard presentations from all of the organizations and ultimately decided to give some additional funding to five of the groups by removing a recommended $10,000 allocation for the Police Athletic League of North Miami.
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Mayor Smith Joseph and Vice Mayor Alix Desulme recommended the eventual split of that $10,000 by giving $5,000 to the Sant La Neighborhood Haitian Center, $1,250 to the Irving Thomas basketball academy, $1,250 for the Ladies of Valor Empowerment organization, $1,000 to the North Miami senior foundation, $750 for the Holy Cross Lutheran School and $750 for the Food for Life Network.
Desulme also asked about how the organizations are monitored after they are awarded the funding. Interim City Manger Arthur Sorey said staff members give a monthly report on the various groups.
“At the end of the fiscal year we do audit each program to make sure they do spend the money,” Sorey said.
Polystyrene ban official: The city council gave final approval to an item banning the use of polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam, on city property and by any contractors doing work with North Miami.
Council members hope to expand the ban but interim City Attorney Roland Galdos said that the city will work in smaller steps to avoid any legal issues.
“This is an important first step for the city and from here we will grow and build a foundation for negating the use of this product city wide,” Galdos said.
North Miami joins Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Bay Harbor Islands, Key Biscayne and others that have approved various polystyrene bans in recent years.
Library fees: North Miami approved a fee schedule and policy for use of the meeting rooms at the library. The renovated library reopened last November and has a small and large conference room and a larger multipurpose room.
Reservation fees for the multipurpose room will start at $150 for one hour and then there will be a $50 charge for each additional hour. Using a divided portion of that room will cost $50 an hour. Reserving the small conference room will cost $10 for up to two hours and there’s a cost of $15 for the large conference room. Fees have to be paid at least two weeks before the event or meeting.
After Vice Mayor Desulme expressed some concerns over the costs, library director Lucia Gonzalez assured the council that the rooms are still free for patrons on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The next meeting
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2
Where: North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St., North Miami.