Miami's budget picture is significantly more bleak than anticipated, with falling revenues and unfunded capital projects forcing the city to look at dipping into $54 million of its rainy day reserves.
Commissioners will learn the news Thursday as Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and City Manager Carlos Migoya present the final close-out numbers for the 2009 budget -- numbers that are as much as $26 million worse than expected.
The city is also projecting a shortfall of more than $20 million for this year's budget. That could leave the reserve fund with a slim balance, and well below the $90 million required in Miami's Financial Integrity Ordinance created from the ashes of the city's last financial meltdown in the 1990s.
In a letter to commissioners this week, Migoya promised a two-year recovery plan to replenish the fund, to be delivered within 45 days.
``We're thinking about selling assets,'' Regalado said.
On the top of Regalado and Migoya's sales list are city-owned parking lots and downtown's James L. Knight Center, an aging hotel and concert hall in which the city continues to make debt payments of $5.5 million a year.
The city is looking to raid its reserves because license, permit and collections for services were down over $17 million last year. Also, the police, fire and parks departments exceeded their budgets by more than $25 million.
Migoya also plans to tap the reserves, in part
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