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Peyton Lobbies Council on Riverfront Improvements

Mayor John Peyton met today with City Council members Dr. Johnny Gaffney, Warren Jones, Don Redman and Michael Corrigan to discuss moving forward with the implementation of three major downtown improvement projects: Southbank Riverwalk replacement, Friendship Fountain restoration and Metropolitan Park redevelopment.

Legislation was filed to allocate approximately $23 million for funding of these projects.

"These improvement projects are vital to the continuing revitalization of downtown and will only enhance our public spaces and river access to our residents and more than 13 million visitors who visit downtown each year," said Mayor Peyton. "We currently have a very competitive bid market that will translate into better utilization of these downtown funds to enable downtown to be in an ideal position post-recession to attract future private capital investment."

All of the money for these projects represents one-time dollars previously allocated for downtown initiatives.  The mayor's office says three projects were selected based on reprioritization and best need for downtown Jacksonville.

5 Responses »

  1. Today's TU has an article about the economy causing a surge of new enrollments in public schools. Because of the increase in students Duval Schools face an additional funding shortfall of over $2.5 million. Interesting that the Mayor wants to spend $23 million on projects that will all be within sight of the School Board offices.

  2. Totally different budgets, getreal.

  3. It's all tax money. Budgets can be and are adjusted and changed all the time. Moving money around is not hard, they reallocate funds on a regular basis.

    • True, budgets are changed, but only within the governmental unit wherein the money resides.

      The city budget is totally separate and apart from the School Board budget.

      Now, could the city give the School Board the $23 million? I suppose so, but I imagine that would be a tough one to get through Council.

      • The City could spend the money building sidewalks for all those kids that now have to walk to school because the bus eligible distance for riders was extended another half mile out, or they could spend it on traffic control around those same schools because of the increase in the number of parents now driving their kids to school and the increase in pedestrian traffic, or they could spend it on establishing more internet hot spots, or a hundred other things.

        I'll agree that the riverwalk needs repairs, but there is limited benefit to upgrading Metpark or fixing the fountain.

        Council (and this Mayor) will do anything that they think will help them politically, that's the only "sell" that is needed.