CLEARWATER – Our readers have spoken and your votes have been tallied. Last week, a plurality of 39-percent voted to eliminate the Downtown Streetscaping project from Penny III funding.
The only other project to reach a double-digit percentage of votes was the Downtown Slips Debt Buy-Down, with 24-percent.
The Streetscaping project was valued at $12.5-million. Combined with $20-million for a new City Hall that was voted-off last week, our readers have suggested the elimination of $22.5-million from the city's Penny III budget.
City Manager Bill Horne argued in favor of the City Hall project during last week's 2009/10 Budget worksession. Responding to Councilmember Paul Gibson's statement that he'd rather build a new library than a new City Hall, Horne said, "We need to have a City Hall in the plan to be built. You can't expect us to stay in a building that is going to suck up a lot of money or a building that is unsafe to be in. We need to make a commitment there; it's just not right." Horne did volunteer, however, that the budget didn't need to be the $25-million that was originally requested.
The City Council has scheduled a Special Worksession for March 12 to discuss the Penny III budget. A public hearing of any proposed budget revisions will be scheduled for a later date.
This weekly opinion poll will run through our March 5 edition, giving our readers the greatest opportunity to prioritize their biggest losers in advance of the Council's worksession.
Here are last week's results:
Please visit the February 19 poll page and vote the next project off Clearwater's Penny III project list.
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