Pricy Fisher Island land goes for sewerage
Written by Samantha Joseph on October 2, 2013
A project to improve the sewage flow in Miami Beach led to talks to acquire nearly $4 million in land on Fisher Island to complete the work after engineers discovered additional structural weaknesses.
“In order for the county to obtain clear title to this parcel, eminent domain proceedings had to be instituted,” according to the county commission’s land acquisition summary sheet.
Commissioners passed a resolution 9-0 authorizing a settlement for land, which the owner, Par 7 LLC, valued at about $4.92 million. The county’s appraisal was about $3.99 million, which commissioners approved Sept. 4.
Officials made the deal through county eminent domain proceedings, the right of a government or its agent to gain private property for public use after offering payment or compensation.
But they might not have anticipated acquiring the expensive real estate, according to staff reports.
In 2011, county staff identified several structural weaknesses in the 54-inch force main that carried sewage to the Central District Waste Water Treatment Plant from Miami Beach, Surfside, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands and Fisher Island, said Ed Vega, director of engineering, Miami Dade Water and Sewer.
They found the pipe could discharge millions of gallons of untreated sewage into Biscayne Bay. Staff therefore needed to install a larger 60-inch main from upland Miami Beach to Fisher Island and the treatment plant at Virginia Key.
They needed the land on Fisher Island to install the 60-inch sewer force main about 65 to 70 feet below ground – an installation that county documents say will last about 80 years.