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Unified County Commission helps Haiti with a $60,000 donation

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On January 14, 2010 The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners voted for the Office of Chairman Dennis C. Moss to donate $25,000 to Food for the Poor and another $25,000 to the Red Cross, Inc. to help Haiti during these difficult times. Commissioner Katy Sorenson joins in by donating $5,000 to the American Red Cross, Inc and another $5,000 to Doctors without Borders. The Chairman appointed Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson to coordinate the Haiti relief efforts on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, (BCC).

The BCC held an emergency meeting today to discuss how to best coordinate efforts to assist the devastated island. County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and County Manager George Burgess participated in the exchange of ideas. Clerk of the Board Harvey Ruvin, Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia, Mayor Julio Robaina, and State Representative Rene Garcia were present offering their support

The Board asked the Mayor to take immediate action to assist Haiti in recovering from the January 12, 2010 earthquake, to declare that an emergency situation exists in Haiti, and to waive the county procedure for disposal of surplus property.

“I spoke to the Council General of Haiti yesterday and I told him we were going to help,” said Chairman Moss. During the meeting, a representative from the embassy expressed words of gratitude towards the leaders and the residents of Miami-Dade and South Florida for their assistance as he now has hope of more rescues to take place and for the country to soon be stabilized.

A resolution sponsored by Commissioner M. Edmonson and cosponsored by the full board asked the administration to deploy county employees to assist in Haiti.

Commissioner Edmonson stated that many family members in her district and county staff have not been able to locate their family members. ÃƒÆ’ƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“They are so many Haitians that are now homeless and/or unaccounted for; we need to mobilize and respond quickly,” added Edmonson. “We need to demonstrate once more our humanitarian side.”

Commissioner Dorrin D. Rolle expressed his concern about getting some earth moving equipment to rescue lives under the rubles.

Commissioner Rebeca Sosa praised the Florida Task Force One (FLTF-1) and the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Urban Search and Rescue Team consisting of 80 emergency responders and seven canines that left this morning to Haiti. They have set up a base camp at the US Embassy. MDFR currently has two US&R teams conducting reconnaissance at the epicenter of the earthquake. Specialized search equipment, which was diverted to the Dominican Republic, is expected to arrive in Haiti tonight. They will be determining exactly what kind of relief is needed.

Commissioner Natacha Seijas mentioned Catholic Charities were trying to bring orphans from Haiti to U.S. and commended UM Hospital and all other hospitals that went there for triage.

Miami’s Seaport and Airport will be waiving the tariff fee for vessels and cargo planes going to the island.

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