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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Voting steady in referendum over new Clearwater Marine Aquarium



Voters leaving the polls on opposite sides of Clearwater Tuesday had plenty of opinions about the referendum on a proposed downtown aquarium.

At the Ross Norton Recreation Complex, Carrie Savaia said she voted to allow the city to negotiate with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on a 60-year-lease for about 5 1/2 acres of waterfront bluff property on which City Hall currently stands.

As Savaia's 2-year-old twin girls sat quietly in a double stroller, their mother said she thought a new downtown aquarium would help "revitalize" the city and aid CMA's mission to rescue and rehabilitate marine wildlife.

And she had a more practical reason: The aquarium's current Island Estates facility, a retrofitted sewage treatment plant, is "hard to navigate with a double stroller," said Savaia, 36. "Maybe we would have more opportunities to participate" in a bigger facility.

Cris Young, 69, voted no. The longtime Clearwater resident said CMA is "doing just fine" at its current location.

"I don't think they need to tear down City Hall," Young said.

Poll workers and city employees reported a steady flow of voters during the day, though only the aquarium referendum is on the ballot.

Read the full story here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 4:09pm]


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