Monday, September 24, 2018
News Roundup

St. Petersburg City Council set to vote on request to Pinellas County for extra $14 million for Pier

ST. PETERSBURG —The City Council is expected Thursday to finalize a request to Pinellas County that could boost the budget for the new Pier District by $14 million, which would bring the total cost to $80 million.

It's just one of many decisions and hurdles the project faces to get started — and finished — on time.

Mayor Rick Kriseman had asked the council to support his quest to get the county to reallocate $14 million in tax increment financing, or TIF funds, for a number of "pier enhancements" to add features to the 26-acre project, some of which were once stripped out to save money.

Those amenities include $1.3 million for a signature art element and $2 million for a floating platform. That would add to the Pier project's current $66 million cost, raising the price tag up to $80 million.

But during an April 6 meeting, council members decided to go ahead with the request but said they had their own ideas about how the extra $14 million should be spent.

While there was no consensus on which of the mayor's enhancements should be funded, the council voted to ask for the $14 million to be allocated not only to the Pier District, but also to transportation and parking in the city's downtown.

The money had previously been set aside for a transportation hub that will no longer be built. Today's council vote will pinpoint specific language to amend St. Petersburg's Intown Redevelopment Plan and Interlocal Agreement with the county.

The council is expected to vote at a later date on the exact Pier enhancements the money will cover, such as an aerial lighted sculpture by internationally renowned artist and Tampa native Janet Echelman.

The meeting starts at 3 p.m. at City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N.

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