Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Plan Progresses, Mayor Says Delaney Schedules 3 Update Sessions

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Plan Progresses, Mayor Says Delaney Schedules 3 Update Sessions

Article excerpt

Byline: David DeCamp, Times-Union staff writer

So there are no pillars being built yet for a downtown library, no brick outfield wall being mortared for a ballpark.

But Mayor John Delaney wants people to know there really is a lot of work being done for the $2.2 billion Better Jacksonville Plan, which is supposed to build libraries, a ballpark, miles of roads and more. And he's going to tell them on the first anniversary of voters approving a half-cent sales tax to fuel the plan.

Tomorrow, Delaney will give essentially three sessions of major updates about how his program is moving along, including a session beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum for the public. He's expected to give a 30-minute speech, and 16 tables full of information on various projects will be displayed, press secretary Sharon Ashton said.

Earlier that day, about 200 members of agencies, boards and the City Council -- groups that are involved in approving parts of the plan -- will hear about the progress in a breakfast briefing at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is to be replaced by a new arena.

The mayor then is scheduled to join news media representatives in a van to tour three sites. One is Townsend Road, where almost $2 million in improved drainage lines are going in. Another site is 407 acres near Otis Road on the Westside, where Delaney wants to convince the City Council that buying the land for his Preservation Project is a good idea. The land will cost as much as $2.5 million, Delaney's advisers said.

In the past year, no major project has been thrown off schedule. But the baseball park's opening day has been pushed back a year, the tax revenue started low, and City Hall shuffled managers this summer. The city also was unsuccessfully sued over the bidding process for part of the road resurfacing work. …

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