After a public outcry, Pembroke Pines might cancel its plan to build a nearly $1 million 9/11 memorial.
``It's fair to say we got a lot of calls,'' Mayor Frank Ortis said. ``The project everybody loves, of course. But it's the expense that people are concerned with.''
The plan, approved last month, will appear on the Jan. 25 city commission meeting agenda for reconsideration, Ortis said.
The 2,000-square-foot stone-and-glass indoor memorial would house about a half-dozen steel and marble sculptures created for the city depicting the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and a piece of a World Trade Center girder donated by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
It would be air-conditioned, lighted and guarded day and night. An obelisk-shaped veterans memorial would stand across from it at the heart of City Center, the city's undeveloped, government-planned downtown.
Residents contacted commissioners and officials after the decision. Ortis said he fielded 15 calls and e-mails from residents who objected to both the expense of the project and the source of its funding: leftover arts and culture funds from 2005's $90 million general obligation bond. The city's taxpayers are repaying the bond at interest rates between 3.2 and 4.6 percent through 2035.
``I challenge you or anyone to justify that this expense is necessary,'' resident Paul Paduano wrote in an e-mail to the commission. ``Especially when my taxes [and other fees] are being increased in the last two years. What's even more dubious is the fact we are borrowing money to build this thing!''
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