Written by Miami Today on April 1, 2010
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STADIUM START: To get started with a planned restoration of Virginia Key’s derelict Miami Marine Stadium, the city is seeking a $175,000 grant from the Florida Inland Navigation District to assess in-water structures like pilings and the seawall. Commissioners last week agreed without discussion to make the ask for the funding for the structural assessment project. If the grant comes through, the city would need to match it. The plan is to use capital bond dollars. The city is also waiting for a final OK from the county for $3 million in general obligation bond dollars for the stadium revamp.
CAMILLUS PROGRESS: The Camillus House is one step closer to $10 million in redevelopment dollars toward its planned new campus near Jackson Memorial Hospital. Miami commissioners last week sitting as the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency board gave the go ahead to negotiate a grant agreement provide $2 million a year for five years toward the Camillus project. The final contract would also require board approval.
THAT TAKES CARE OF THAT: The $10 million in redevelopment dollars for the Camillus project was in jeopardy for a while last year, when commissioners considered giving the grant even though the project was to be built outside of the redevelopment agency’s bounds. Because redevelopment areas generate revenue within a specific district to fund projects within that district, some questioned the move, including State Attorney General Bill McCollum after he was asked to issue an opinion. In the end, the local governments agreed to a planned but belated boundary stretch for the agency — landing the Camillus projects within the lines and out of the grey area.
DRAMA: Because the Coconut Grove Playhouse has been "dark for the past four years," Miami Commission Chair Marc Sarnoff is asking the state to step in. Commissioners last week supported his call for the state to take the Playhouse back from its existing board, then hand control to a new body that would include himself, Mayor Tomás Regalado, County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez and Ransom Everglades School’s head Ellen Moceri, among others. "This is a big, important economic driver for the Grove," Mr. Sarnoff said, and "it has remained dormant for more than four years."
TOURISM JOBS: There were 102,200 workers in the leisure and hospitality industries in Greater Miami in February, according the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, down 1.35% from the 103,600 employed in those industries in February 2009.