Miami-Dade commissioners voted Wednesday 11 to 2 to allow voters to decide whether or not the county should issue bonds to help build a new courthouse for civil cases.

 

The $393-million dollar issue will now appear as a referendum on the November 4th ballot.

 

Commissioners compromised on the amount which was originally $540-million.

 

The Dade County Courthouse is 90 years old, aging, and, according to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, who appeared before the commission on the matter, "embarrassing" and "appalling."

 

"As the state attorney, which is the legal counsel to the Dade County grand jury, I can tell you that it is an embarrassment.  We ask these jurors to come and serve.  They come to what is supposed to be a beacon of our society -- a courthouse -- and what they come to is squalor," Fernandez-Rundle told commissioners.

 

The county is considering several downtown sites for a new courthouse.

 

 

 

 

(Photo: ROBERT SULLIVAN / 2006 AFP)