Lawmakers express concerns over casino’s monorail proposal linking Miami, Miami Beach

MIAMI (WSVN) - Some lawmakers have expressed concerns over a casino giant’s proposal to build a monorail that would connect Miami and Miami Beach.

The Miami-Dade County Commission voted to open competition for companies wanting to bid on the construction of the transportation route, Wednesday.

Genting, a Chinese casino conglomerate, was the first to present a plan regarding the monorail.

“This spurred a public process,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Genting already owns prime real estate in Downtown Miami: the coveted lot where the Miami Herald once stood.

The conglomerate has reportedly been trying to build a casino resort.

Some leaders have expressed concerns over this connection.

“We have Genting with some kind of — I don’t know,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, “maybe it’s an implied promise to allow them to have casinos, which is not a good idea.”

When asked about lawmakers’ concerns over the casino company wanting a stake in public transit, Gimenez said it’s not guaranteed that Genting will even win the contract.

“The proposal will be looked at; all those factors will be evaluated,” said Gimenez, “and the county commission will determine whether they want to move forward with it.”

Genting’s current monorail proposal would see taxpayers pay around $240 million, with $100 million from Miami-Dade, $100 million from the state and $20 million each from Miami and Miami Beach.

“This is one — maybe one proposal,” said Gimenez. “We could have others.”

Other companies bidding for the contract have until the end of 2019 to present their own competing proposals at which point the county is expected to pick a final plan.

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