Hundreds of tons of potentially contaminated soil at the site of the new Paradise Park still need to be removed, Village officials said Tuesday. The work will delay a groundbreaking ceremony originally slated for this Friday and cause the $1.6 million project to go over budget.
Village Manager Steve Williamson said he’s hopeful the groundbreaking for the long-delayed park at 230 Crandon Blvd. can take place in January. He said the Village likely will opt to remove 338 tons of possibly contaminated soil containing petroleum products from the site, a former Citgo gasoline station, at an additional cost of about $113,000. The site, he said, is currently safe, but long-term use requires remediation.
A less expensive option would involve additional monitoring and testing, but Williamson said trucking out the soil and replacing it makes more sense.
“Get it out of there,” Williamson said. “People are going to sit on the grass,” saying the less expensive option might even lead to shutdowns in future years. The area to be remediated would have a stage area for concerts and performances.
The 12,500 square foot parcel, which had languished for nearly two decades, has had temporary uses as a dog park and a pump track for skateboarders. Successive councils came up with elaborate plans, only for them to be altered or scuppered when a new council was seated.
The Council ultimately decided on a scaled-down version, and succeeded in getting a $200,000 grant to offset the cost.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.