Finally, ground breaking on the Truman Waterfront park

This is an artist's rendering of what the park will look like.
This is an artist's rendering of what the park will look like.

More than 13 years after obtaining the land, Key West officials expect to put shovels in the ground today for development of Key West's Truman Waterfront Park.

The city is scheduled to break ground on the 33-acre waterfront property at the end of Southard Street at 10 a.m. inside the old U.S. Navy gates, city spokeswoman Alyson Crean said.

The Navy deeded the property to the city in 2002. City, state and Navy officials are expected to attend this morning's groundbreaking. 

"It's taken forever. This is the hallelujah moment," said City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, who was mayor when the city received the property.

In November, the city's Naval Properties Local Redevelopment Authority (the City Commission) approved a $17,453,752.67 bid by Charley Toppino and Sons Inc. for phase 1A of the park, which includes removing trees and constructing a road between the boundary of the park and the parking lot.

Also approved were $600,524 in task orders with Miami-based Bermello Ajamil & Partners Inc. to design the park's amphitheater and for general construction administration, including and groundwater consulting.

The City Commission meets at 6 tonight at Old City Hall on Greene Street. On the agenda:

  • The commission is expected to vote on a second reading of an ordinance that would raise non-consensual towing rates across the city. The move would make Key West in line with Monroe County's non-consensual towing rates.

  • The board will consider changes to the city's sightseeing franchise law. A second reading and vote on the ordinance has been postponed five times since last December.

For months, the commission has gone back and forth over issues including whether the number of sightseeing vehicles should be capped and if there should be a level playing field between the city's two sightseeing companies, Historic Tours of America and CityView Trolley Tours.