The City of Miami has been selected as the 2007 spotlight project of the year, according to information released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rural Development, an arm of the USDA, is recognizing the City of Miami for its utilization of the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program.

Brian Barger, director of economic development for the City of Miami, made the announcement at Monday's meeting of the city council.

“This is a great honor for our department,” Barger said. “I am proud to pass along this news that we just received today.”

“Boat Floaters Industries LLC., a manufacturer of boat lifts in the Miami area, faced many challenges as it performed its daily operations in an inadequate facility,” a USDA statement read. “Many times Boat Floaters employees worked outside in undesirable elements to make sure production demands were met.”

After identifying the need for facility improvements, city officials worked with Boat Floaters to develop an incentive package which addressed their need for expansion. The $99,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant from USDA Rural Development was leveraged with $326,000 from the City of Miami Economic Development Authority and, as a result, the City of Miami was able to offer a five- acre tract of land and a 34,000 square foot industrial facility which to accommodate Boat Floater's entire manufacturing process.

Today, Boat Floaters employees perform their manufacturing duties in a fully enclosed facility which also provides office space and a small show room. The facility was purchased by the business for $250,000, a portion of the purchase price is being financed by the Economic Development Authority. The term is for 10 years at 4 percent.

“The economic development philosophies of saving jobs in the Miami area and the community spirit displayed by the Miami officials as they rolled up their sleeves to lend a hand is why this project has been selected as the Best of 2007,” the USDA indicated.