Rep. Randy Fine Demands Answers From City Officials On $27.8 ‘Million I-95 Interchange in South Palm Bay
By Space Coast Daily // October 17, 2019
cost Florida taxpayers an additional $475,000 to put the completed interchange into standby
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Representative Randy Fine demanded on Wednesday that the City of Palm Bay, “provide a complete and transparent accounting regarding its gross malfeasance” with a new $27.8 million state- and federal-funded I-95 interchange in South Palm Bay.
In a response to a constituent question about the status of this new interchange, Fine learned from the Florida Department of Transportation that the interchange has actually been complete since August 2, 2019, but because the city had not built a road to the interchange, it could not only not be opened, but it cost Florida taxpayers an additional $475,000 to put the completed interchange into standby.
Fine said that hose funds will never be recovered.
When Fine’s office asked Palm Bay city officials when the connecting road would be completed, they were unable to provide an immediate answer and said they needed to hold meetings to determine an answer.
“The level of incompetence here is so breathtaking that it is almost beyond comprehension,” said Fine.
“Palm Bay agreed with FDOT to build this connecting road in 2013, and to not get it done over six years – while asking the state and federal government to spend $27.8 million – should be criminal. To not even be able to say when it will be finished is unconscionable. If you can’t build a road, you shouldn’t rule a city.
“This is the most egregious failure of home rule that I have seen in my time in office, and it comes on top of the mayor and city staff recently refusing to fully cooperate with the Auditor General of the State of Florida on a special audit I called for two years ago due to home rule abuses. That audit should be released any day now and cannot come soon enough.
“The State created the City and the State has an obligation to step in when its creation cannot function at even the most basic level. I will be exploring all options to hold the City accountable for this $28 million scandal,” said Fine.
Fine is the State Representative from District 53, which is comprised of the southern portion of Brevard County and includes the entirety of Palm Bay, Malabar, and Grant-Valkaria, and portions of Melbourne, West Melbourne, and unincorporated Brevard.
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