Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Council OKs Pier Funding

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Council OKs Pier Funding

Article excerpt

Just when the debate over the Jacksonville Beach Pier seemed over, the Duval County Tourist Development Council nearly added another wrinkle.

The appointed board voted 5-4 to give the city $500,000 for construction of the pier, bringing the total city funding of the project to $3.5 million.

All three City Council members on the board -- council President Matt Carlucci, and Councilwomen Ginger Soud and Gwen Yates -- supported the allocation. Also voting in favor were Hank Fonde and Warren Grymes.

"We're constantly working toward the big picture of tourism in our area and this will be a major step," Soud said.

David Potts, one of the four voting against the funding, said he supported the pier and the partnership with the Tourist Development Council, but he thought $500,000 was too much.

The amount requested was just more than half of the $900,000 figure the adminis- tration had been asking for. The board never voted on that request, opting to wait until the City Council determined where the pier would be. The City Council voted last month to rebuild the pier near the Jacksonville Beach commercial district.

Vicki Bridges, James Ewing, and Orren Kahnt also voted against the funding.

TWO PORT SLOTS OPEN: Mayor John Delaney has two more appointments to make for the Jacksonville Port Authority, which oversees the seaport side since the port split took effect Oct. 1.

Delaney had been waiting for his last appointment and now David Hicks, a retired Alltel executive who runs the Jacksonville Housing Authority, has decided not to accept his appointment to the board, said Sharon Ashton, Delaney's press secretary.

Ashton didn't know when the final members would be chosen, but said she expected an announcement soon. Both appointments would require City Council confirmation.

READY, SET, PUNT: Delaney's foray against the National Football League's blackout policy, which has nixed two Jaguar telecasts locally this year, resulted in a two-page reply recently by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

His reply, received at City Hall Monday, went something like this:

Thanks for the thoughts.

Thanks for having a fine franchise in town. …

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