The readers’ forum

Release funds for Overtown development projects


I am encouraged by Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency’s CRA) bold move of approving a minimum $43.5 million bond issuance. This approval ensures that some of the long-awaited projects will begin to move in Overtown. I would like to see that all of the approved projects begin and are completed. That is what I have been fighting for all along.

In June 2012, the County Commission approved the issuance of a $50-million bond. The CRA did not move on this opportunity. In June 2013, the CRA requested, and the County Commission approved, an amendment to allow for a $60-million bond issuance instead. The CRA again delayed the issuance of the bonds.

When questions regarding the 1982 ordinance that restricts the amount of tax-increment revenue the county pays to the CRA was brought to my attention, I immediately began working with county staff and legal counsel to come to a swift resolution in order for long-awaited projects in Overtown to move forward.

In February, I wrote a response to an article in the Miami Times of my intention to resolve these convoluted issues and offer alternatives that get these projects started. However, at every turn, the CRA’s threats of a lawsuit against the county hindered my ability to respond to what has been referred to as “propaganda” and added to the decades of broken promises to the residents of Overtown.

The County Commission has authorized the CRA to issue the full $60 million in bonds. I strongly encourage the CRA chair and board not to fund projects piecemeal, so that all the pre-approved projects can begin immediately.

These projects include the rehabilitation of all the Town Park developments, the development of Lyric Place, St. John Overtown Plaza, Island Living, Culmer Center Housing Development and the much-needed parking for the Lyric Theatre and the Longshoreman’s Union Hall.

I have consulted the county attorney with an eye toward removing any and all obstacles that might hinder further progress in the Overtown community. I am hopeful that this step will pave the way for the CRA to issue $60 million in bonds. These funds will promote the immediate launch of job creation and economic development in our community. I am confident that everyone involved shares the same sentiment.

Audrey Edmonson, Miami-Dade County commissioner, District 3, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Public libraries save lives

    With so much going on in the world — wars, epidemics, throngs of displaced people — one would think that the fate of public libraries in Miami wouldn’t concern anyone but the locals. Such an assumption would be dead wrong. Someone in far-away Connecticut cares deeply.

  • Don’t hit women

    Re the Ray Rice domestic violence incident. There used to be two cardinal rules for a man, passed down from fathers to sons: Hold your liquor and don’t ever hit a woman. Nowadays, there seems to be a lot of boys in men’s bodies.

  • Shalala’s final act

    From a Miami Herald editorial and a front page fluff piece to a letter from another university president, accolades have flooded in praising University of Miami President Donna Shalala. But not a single one has mentioned that one of her final acts as president was to utterly betray her community.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category