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April 06, 2016

Miami Officials OK $49 Million Bailout for Science Museum

Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Tuesday to lend $49 million to the Frost Museum of Science to complete construction of a new downtown building, the Miami Herald reports. The lifeline increases by nearly 30 percent the taxpayer funding going to the troubled project, which had already exhausted $165 million in county money and prompted an overhaul of the museum's board.

South Florida philanthropists Phillip and Patricia Frost, the museum's top donors and namesakes, hold two of four seats on the reconstituted board. They had provided a bridge loan to restart the project pending the county commission's vote. Construction was halted after the museum ran out of money for the $305 million project and and was unable to secure a bank loan or sufficient private gifts. The $49 million rescue package replaces an earlier county plan to provide the new museum an annual $4 million, hotel-tax-funded operating subsidy after it opens.