New plan for Jungle Island: Plow and sand.
1. No more deals. Take over the park in a foreclosure-type proceeding as soon as it defaults on the upcoming $2 million payment. (My guess is the "mystery" investor will turn up). Negotiate with the feds to deal with the loans, and remove the operators on charges of extortion.
2. Call Ron Magill to remove the animals to a good home.
3. Plow everything but the parking facility and the public restrooms. Save the park’s trash cans, water fountains and fencing material. Load Jungle Island debris on a barge to blow up and create reef.
4. Divert the sand from the port tunnel project to cover the site. Fence off three acres for a dog beach. Place garbage cans every 25 feet.
5. Contract with vendors for windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Add three beverage vendors. Collect a percentage of revenue.
6. Spend $1,000 on blow up beach balls for the grand opening. That should buy about a 30,000 balls.
7. Charge $5 a car for parking.
8. Fireworks! Six times a year — charge $10 for parking.
If the city and county want a family-friendly attraction, forget about expensive hotels, restaurants and shops. Go back to what attracted people here in the first place: sun, sand and surf.
As a life-long Miami resident, I would volunteer to organize the eviction and restoration of the space for the community and its visitors.
Karen F. Grossman, Pinecrest