Muddy Waters remain for Murray Pool proposal

By Raquel Garcia….
The waters appear to get murkier and murkier when it comes down to understanding the scope of the Murray Pool proposal alliance between the city and county.

In a story from last issue, the South Miami News reported that the Murray Pool Community Development Block Grant county support would terminate at year’s end according to the mayor and city officials.

However Assistant Director of Housing and Community Development for Miami- Dade County Rowena Crawford countered with a statement as quoted: “We did not tell them we were not going to extend the contract. The county is committed to this project and we have no reason not to extend it.”

Crawford continues to respond about the alleged cut in pool funding scheduled for the end of the year: “They are misinformed. They are asking for an extension we typically do for most contracts. The county has some concerns about delays with the project but we are working with the current administration to move the project forward.”

However Mayor Phillip Stoddard presented Community Newspapers with a letter from Ms. Crawford dated August 1st where she states: “The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will not extend the contract at this time as discussed in our meeting with the city on May 23, 2011. The County is concerned about the ongoing delays with the project and expects the City to complete the project in an expeditious manner.”

Mayor Stoddard says, “They threw us under the bus. Here is proof that we were told in no uncertain terms that the monies for the pool proposal would not in fact be renewed at year’s end.”

In a note from City Manager Dr. Hector Mirabile to Mayor Stoddard forwarding the letter in question he asks: “If we begin construction and they don’t extend the contract or commit in writing to extend the CDBG Grant for one additional year why would we begin the contract if we know we cannot complete it by December 31, 2011?”

So is the Murray Pool proposal doing the Dead Man’s Float and barely buoying the changing currents or is it truly dead in the water?

Assistant Director for Housing and Community Development for Miami- Dade County Rowena Crawford was not available for comment at press time. However Community and Housing Division Director Clarence Brown explained it as follows: “what we are saying is that there is nothing to extend at this time. We have extended this contract year after year after year and we need to see some traction. These are federal dollars and they cannot just sit on a project that is not moving forward.”

(Full view of letter go to








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