Miami Beach, Millions in Water and Sewer Fees, Uncollected

Miami Beach failed to collect millions in water and sewer fees from new hotels and condos - Miami Beach - .... Several Miami Beach departments have undergone staffing changes through the years. City Manager Jimmy Morales, who joined the Beach in April 2013, was not aware of the connection-fee issue, and he said questions would have to be directed at staffers and directors from a decade ago...  David Weston, a former fire inspector for the Beach, stumbled upon a county memo in late 2013 that mentioned the unpaid fees while doing some research....“We need to make sure that the people who are in charge of the store can manage our money correctly,” he told the Miami Herald. In the past, Weston has raised questions of corruption in the building department. His suspicions were proven correct in 2012 when the FBI arrested several city employees in an anti-corruption sting, some of whom are now behind bars. Regarding the connection fees, the Loews was the only one of the three companies with the highest unpaid balance that responded to inquiries from the Herald. Alex Tonarelli, managing director of Loews, did not address why the county fees haven’t been paid by the hotel in a statement provided last week. Because of the statute of limitation, the county could not pursue the $976,006 unpaid by the hotel. “These monies are related to connection fees from the original construction of the hotel,” he said. “We were made aware of this years after the fact and have been consistently meeting our financial obligations, as per our agreement with the city.”..." (read more at the link above)

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