MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On Tuesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced the possibility of suing Miami-Dade County over coronavirus relief funding.
"We, as a city, are exploring the possibility of legal action against Miami-Dade County for bad faith negotiations and for taking money away from our citizens that should have gone to our citizens based on CARES Act funding," Suarez said.
The CARES Act, which stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, is a $2 trillion economic relief package meant to help with fallout due to the pandemic. Miami-Dade County received about $474 million in federal funds.
"Our citizens were entitled to receive, based on population, $81 million in federal help," Suarez said. "The county proposal would get our citizens as little as $8 million."
As an example, he cited the city of Atlanta. Atlanta has a population of about 500,000. Miami has about 468,000 people. Atlanta, he said, received $88 million from the government.
"That is money that we are not going to be able to pay our firefighters, to pay our police officers, who are on the front lines of COVID," the mayor continues. "That's money we can use to avoid taxes and fees on our residents. They have taken that money and given it to whoever they want to."
But Tuesday afternoon, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, "It's a lot of hoopla and a lot of people don't know what they are talking about."
Gimenez says cities merely have to apply for reimbursement.
Tuesday, the county sent all the cities a letter outlining how to apply for reimbursement.
Some of the things cities are eligible for include COVID-19 testing and COVID tracing, sanitation for public areas and public safety measures.
"Are we going to reimburse 100%? Probably no, because some may be FEMA eligible money," said Gimenez.
Gimenez says individual residents can apply for reimbursement if they think they are eligible for federal funds through their
city or the county.
Cities have until next Monday to submit their reimbursement forms to the county.
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