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Saturday, October 18, 2014

City refuses to clean-up park to neighbors' liking

Last weekend, neighbors surrounding Merrie Christmas Park on LeJeune road held a protest against the city's response to the toxic clean-up of the park.

The neighbors are concerned about the way the job is being completed, they feel that the dirt is being pushed from one area to the other but it's not being completely removed from the park. As of now they claim that the property values are dropping, too.

A meeting at City Hall on Thursday brought some bad news. The City is refusing to remove all of the tainted soil and  it was suggested that if the neighbors want otherwise, they should pay for a large part of the removal costs and replacement of the soil themselves. The cost is about $50,000.

District Commissioner Marc Sarnoff said that the $50,000 is about one third of the total cost.

As of now the park is closed, the property values are declining and neighbors are totally frustrated. This affects not only Coconut Grove but Coral Gables, which is across the street from the park and within a quarter mile perimiter which is deemed toxic. Arsenic, barium, cadmium, and lead still cover the area, all the result of the long ago incinerator Old Smokey.

Neighbors have now retained attorneys to fight for their cause.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grove & Gables residents should pay high property taxes AND pay for a poisonous park clean up with additional funds??? WOW. Interesting to see how all the Sarnoff supporters come to his defense when the poop starts flying, because of course he has nothing at all whatsoever do with the refusal of the city to do what it should to resolve this for the neighborhood. Marc is either too dumb to care, or more likely than not he is relying on the ineptness of the voters who will vote him again into his office by voting for his completely unqualified wife next election.

October 20, 2014 7:48 AM  
Blogger HectorinMiami said...

Voice your concerns with us this Thursday night after 10pm on Miami After Dark radio 880 AM. Call-in at 305-541-2350.

We're listening and we bet a lot of people from the City are too.

October 20, 2014 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the property values around the parks are the only ones declining. The toxic ash from Old Smokey did not selectively land in the public parks and areas around them, but throughout the entire area, thus making all the land in the Grove and surrounding area toxic. Unless of course, the property values are declining due to the loss of the park, which would then be remedied once the park has been restored.

October 20, 2014 4:44 PM  
Blogger HectorinMiami said...

To Anon@4:44

The real tragedy is the loss of confidence in the City to remediate and reopen the closed parks in a timely manner.

We always talk about the economic markets in terms of "investor confidence". We, residents and stakeholders, are also investors and our confidence is shaken by a City that seems to be infatuated with playing politics no matter how disruptive the cost is to our lives.

You think people would want to read to buy property and invest in our community when the City seems to not show any interest is offering the most basic of public services: offering safe and accessible public areas for families and their children.

October 20, 2014 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The toxic ash present in the parks is not from the smoke of the chimney at the incinerator but rather unburnt leftovers that did not turn to smoke. During the 1940's this ash was dumped in bulk at the sites which were then covered with grass and turned into public parks. The extent to which the city, or even science, knew then of the dangers of the toxins present in incinerator ash is open to conjecture.

October 20, 2014 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Before you made your ad hominem attacks, have you spoken to Sarnoff about this matter?

I'm sure if he had a magic wand or was embued with dictatorial powers, as your post seems to imply, he would probably do away with all the ash in all the parks, some of which is deposited not 50 yards from his home.

October 20, 2014 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyday of the week there is a full crew cleaning the Blanche park ! Every day same City of Miami Park and recreation truck and crew is there? How does this happen? All other parks are a mess and two employees spend every day at that park Blanche Park! What is going on?

October 25, 2014 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanche Park is one of the most heavily trafficked parks in the city. Having said that, I don't think a crew is there EVERY day. I would notice since I live across the street from it.

October 27, 2014 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Health Department have to weigh in on health & safety? If they approve the park as safe for human activity, once the work is completed, how could properties be reduced with a demarcation line? It's either acceptable or it isn't.

October 27, 2014 3:36 PM  

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