Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dali gets $2.5 million from city, now seeks match from county

ST. PETERSBURG — Needing money to complete the construction of its new building, the Salvador Dali Museum got a $2.5 million boost from the city Thursday.

By a 7-1 vote, the City Council approved Mayor Bill Foster's plan to give the museum about half of the money it needs to complete a $36 million building along the downtown waterfront. Museum officials have fallen about $5 million short, blaming a bad economy.

The gift is not automatic. Pinellas County officials must approve another $2.5 million, or the city will take back the money. On Wednesday, the Tourist Development Council will vote on whether to match it. Also, the County Commission must allow the city to spend the money, which comes from a special account financed by property taxes that the county oversees. Right now, the city has that money earmarked for downtown pedestrian improvements.

But with the museum struggling to complete its building by a planned grand opening in January, council members said they couldn't ignore the museum's request.

Only Herb Polson voted against the gift.

"I have a problem with taking public dollars already assigned to public infrastructure to be used for a private entity. If we approve this request, we should get an equal concession from the Dali. But we are getting nothing for our money, and I think that is wrong."

Foster quickly rebutted Polson, saying the Dali has contributed greatly to the economic development of the city and will continue to do so.

"This is an organization, long before you or I sat on the council and I became mayor, that committed to this city," Foster said. "They've had hundreds of thousands of people come to our city. We'll get a quid pro quo, absolutely."

Aside from the county matching the city, the gift is also contingent on the museum finishing on time. If the project gets delayed, the city will keep its money.

Museum Director Hank Hine said that the construction is on schedule. He said most of the museum should be complete in November, allowing time for fine tuning before January.

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at mvansickler@sptimes.com.

Dali gets $2.5 million from city, now seeks match from county 08/05/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  2. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  3. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  4. Florida softball returns to World Series; FSU baseball in ACC title game

    Colleges

    GAINESVILLE — Florida defeated Alabama 2-1 Saturday to win the deciding Game 3 of their softball Super Region, putting the Gators in the Women's College World Series for the eighth time in program history.

    ’NOLE POWER: FSU’s Dylan Busby, right, is congratulated by teammate Taylor Walls after Busby’s homer against Duke.
  5. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.