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St. Pete city leaders come up with plan to spend final funds from last year's budget

ST. PETERSBURG — City Council members signaled their support Thursday to use $124,000 in surplus council funds for projects that would support the Urban League and a new Skyway Marina District.

One project would set aside $60,000 to help make the plan for a new business district along 34th Street S a reality. The other would give $68,000 to the Urban League so it could run a teen and family program, part of the city's broader "2020" plan to reduce poverty by 30 percent by the next census.

The first project, pushed heavily by council member Steve Kornell, would follow a format used in other neighborhoods, like Grand Central and the Deuces, to foster revitalization. As part of the effort, a coordinator would be hired to guide the neighborhood in its goals.

After a discussion and unanimous straw vote, council members said they would be in support of putting money to the effort, but only $50,000.

The second proposal didn't have such an easy passage.

Although all council members said they support the poverty goal, Bill Dudley and Jim Kennedy both cast straw votes against giving the Urban League the fund's remaining balance, $74,000.

Kennedy said he wanted more details of how the money would be spent and what the program would look like. Those behind the effort, including Urban League president Watson Haynes and magazine publisher Gypsy Gallardo, promised to do that.

Both items will come up for final approval at next week's council meeting.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@tampabay.com, (727) 893-8643 or @cornandpotatoes on Twitter.

St. Pete city leaders come up with plan to spend final funds from last year's budget 01/30/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:19pm]
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