The latest plan by Mayor Tomás Regalado to renovate the abandoned Miami Marine Stadium received a curt greeting Thursday from city commissioners after his administration failed to produce a financial analysis supporting a $45 million bond initiative.
Regalado, who has tried in vain for years to revive the historic Virginia Key venue, wants commissioners to authorize the issuance of bonds leveraged by general revenues unrelated to property taxes, including money generated by a sprawling event space installed outside the stadium this year. The bond money would pay for the stadium’s restoration, as well as the construction of a 35,000-square-foot maritime center.
City Manager Daniel Alfonso indicated early this week that he expected a vote on the bond proposal to be pushed back, so its deferral was no surprise. But the reason cited by Commissioner Frank Carollo — that Alfonso’s staff had failed to produce a requested breakdown of the expected costs and revenues associated with city facilities on Virginia Key — carried a familiar theme.
Two years ago, commissioners rejected a plan by the nonprofit Friends of Marine Stadium after details of their $120 million vision were questionable and late to materialize. A second effort this summer to restore the stadium as part of a $275 million general obligation bond issue was also shot down by the commission for concerns about lack of detail and transparency.
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In blocking the latest proposal Thursday, Carollo invoked the seldom-cited “5-day rule,” which requires that elected officials receive information on proposed items at least one week before the scheduled vote.
In other news Thursday, commissioners agreed to pay $200,000 to the estate of a woman killed in a violent 11-car crash last April involving a city dump truck.
Pamela Plummer was in the back seat of a taxi April 8 at a stop light on Northwest Seventh Street and 17th Avenue when prosecutors say Larry Ellis fell asleep at the wheel of his waste truck and slammed into the cab at speeds topping 60 miles per hour. The collision killed Plummer, 65, and sent seven more to the hospital.
Prosecutors declined to charge Ellis in Plummer’s death, saying he showed no signs of intoxication and falling asleep at the wheel isn’t a willful action. The city fired him last month.
Canor C. Pato, the attorney representing Plummer’s estate, did not respond to a request for comment.
The dramatic crash was the second in as many months involving a city waste truck. In February, Kaseem Smith drove his vehicle off an Interstate 95 overpass and fell into Jose Marti Park. Alfonso, the city manager, is scheduled to meet with AFSCME 871 union leader Joe Simmons Friday to discuss Smith’s return to the job.