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The South Florida Roundup

Melreese Golf Course To Open Again After Not-So-New Soil Contamination Revealed

Matias J. Ocner
Miami Herald
Test results released Monday showed arsenic contamination in the soil at Miami's Melreese golf course.

The Melreese golf course that could house David Beckham's soccer stadium will reopen, according to the City of Miami.

The city closed the golf course after a recent environmental analysis, which was done by a consultant hired by the Beckham group, found elevated levels of arsenic and lead in soil.

In a statement released Friday, the city said it asked its own consultant, who crafted the original clean-up plan for the golf course, to review Beckham's findings.

That consultant found the contamination is consistent with "historic findings" from the old ash dump under the course and similar to other golf courses.

The city also said it has informed the county of their move to reopen Melreese.

WLRN's Tom Hudson discussed the story with the Miami Herald's Joey Flechas on the South Florida Roundup. Here's an excerpt of their conversation:

TOM HUDSON: What's the strategy here moving forward? The city and the Beckham group are maybe in the eighth inning of this ninth inning (to mix a sports metaphor) negotiation.

JOEY FLECHAS: There is a lot of knowledge of the contamination and so what occurred after that is what seemed elevated more than usual. But there's a self-imposed deadline which has no teeth. If they don't on Sept. 12 consider a lease, nothing occurs. They'll just have to consider another time, if they ever do.

But there is a political question there because of an election coming up. The commissioner who represents the district that includes Melreese, he is term limited. In November, he will be replaced, and so it's an open seat.

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Alexander Gonzalez produces the afternoon newscasts airing during All Things Considered. He enjoys helping tell the South Florida story through audio and digital platforms. Alex is interested in a little of everything from business to culture to politics.
Tom Hudson is WLRN's Senior Economics Editor and Special Correspondent.