CRA VIOLATES DEMOLITION STAY ORDER, NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANS UP 'CRACK DEN' DESPITE GRANT REFUSAL
Late Friday evening the City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agency cut electrical service to the threatened building housing the Apostolic Revival Temple, proceeding with the demolition process despite a Miami-Dade County Judge's temporary stay on the demolition order. "We think it was done illegally," Pastor Allen of the Temple stated, "I called FPL and they said there was no cut off order for my service, and how can they do that - I thought there was a stay on the demolition until Friday," he said, "what if we win? - how are we going to have service next Sunday without power?" Doris Hall, representative of the property owner said "this again shows how the CRA is manipulating the system to get what they want - they probably showed FPL the demolition order and 'forgot' to show them the Judge's stay order." she noted "we will inform the Judge first thing Monday morning of this blatant disregard and violation of her order." James Villacorta, Executive Director of the CRA, gleefully watched as the power was cut. "he's out here all happy and jumping up and down acting like he did yesterday when they demolished Moe's garage," said a local resident, getting emotional, "it's not right - this is all we have left." Ernest King, a well known local artist who had been looking to put a live/work art gallery in the old Moe's Garage property confronted Villacorta, who had been attempting to lobby support for the CRA. "don't come out here all boasting about your big projects," he said, "It's disrespectful to us 'cause we know we aren't part of them."
Ms. Hall also blasted the CRA in a letter to Jim Villacorta for refusing a $4,000 grant request to eliminate the 'crack den' stating:
" If the urgency of the demolition stems from the public liability from people entering the property and the trash strewn around the property, why would you not allocate funds on an emergency basis, as you are allowed to fund up to $4,500 without Board approval. Would this not be considered negligence on your part, since the CRA trust fund is holding over $70 million dollars needing to be reinvested with the taxpayers and residents in Overtown to create jobs and revitalization of these properties?.. We believe that the true intent of the CRA is to demolish and acquire the properties through an eminent-domain like procedure in violation of Federal, State, and Local laws, in order to assemble the remaining parcels for a large development project."
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