Miami Springs city leaders voted 5-0 at Monday’s council meeting to give $265,000 to help a private entity install a parking lot at the historic Curtiss Mansion.
“The request is not for $265,000 to build a parking lot, it is for you to support the completion of the city’s funding for a parking lot,” said Richard Wheeler, president of Curtis Mansion, Inc. “The parking lot was not completed four years ago when the building was renovated because there were no funds available.”
The costs of a new parking lot at the mansion is estimated at $550,000. The total cost will be defrayed by a $145,000 Florida Department of Transportation grant and $140,000 in “historic” tax credits.
This leaves a shortfall of $265,000.
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“The only available funds would have to come from the available fund balance,” Finance Director Bill Alonso wrote in a memo to city leaders. “Another possible option would be to borrow the funds and pay the funding back over a number of years.”
The addition of a new mansion parking lot, according to CMI officials, is the “highest priority.”
The Curtiss Mansion was renovated in 2012 and frequently hosts social and cultural programs. The Smithsonian has recently chosen the mansion to host its Water/Ways traveling exhibit in September.
Officials are hopeful the new parking lot will be completed by the end of summer.
“The Curtiss Mansion is a city-owned property,” City Attorney Jan Seiden said. “CMI is a good guardian and a good trustee.”