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Bay Harbor Islands

Bay Harbor Islands delays decision on new park


Special to the Miami Herald

A bathroom was the crux of the debate among Bay Harbor Islands council members’ and their indecision in a meeting on Monday January 13, over whether to build a children’s park on 98th Street.

“We can’t afford to keep dipping into our reserves,” said council member Stephanie Bruder. “We have Rolls Royce taste, but we don’t have a Rolls Royce budget.”

The park would cost the town about $603,000, but that estimate didn’t include a public bathroom that would cost an additional $250,000.

“We have a community of families, but our parks are what the residents want," said Vice Mayor Jordan Leonard. “I think we can build the park and wait until we have the money to add the bathroom(s) next month.”

However, council member Joshua Fuller said he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to build the park in pieces and would rather have everything done at once.

Mayor Robert Yaffe, however, interjected and said he doesn’t see the justification for the amount of money being spent.

“I for one am fully on board with the park; I raised three kids, but I don’t see how we can spend $250,000 on a bathroom,” Yaffe said.

Additionally, council member Isaac Salver said he wasn’t fond of the design of the park.

“The design doesn’t render this kind of cost,” Salver said.

However, council member Solange Rousselot responded with frustration.

“Now we’re not in agreement with the design?” she asked. “We’ve been talking about this for months, and now we’re at the final stage and people have a problem with the design!”

After about an hour of discussion, council members decided to direct Assistant Town Manager J.C. Jimenez to get other estimates for the park for next month’s meeting.

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