City Council considers more amendments after removing $94 million in community benefits investment from stadium deal

City Council considers more amendments after removing  million in community benefits investment from stadium deal

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. — A day after the Jacksonville City Council voted to remove most of a key funding element from the Jaguars’ stadium renovation deal, members will reconvene Friday to consider even more amendments to the proposal.

Many of the proposed amendments focus on what will ultimately happen to the stadium during and after renovations. Several council members said the amendments would not constitute a compromise.

These include:

  • Wanting 10% of construction to be carried out by registered or certified apprentices

  • Transferring management of the Jaguars facility to a third party

Friday’s meeting, which begins at 9 a.m., will set the stage for next week’s final vote on the proposal to transform EverBank Stadium into the “Stadium of the Future.” That vote will take place Tuesday when the City Council decides whether the city will pay $775 million for the renovations.

Initially, the Jaguars’ $1.4 billion stadium renovation deal also included a $300 million community benefits agreement, split equally between the team and the city. The city would have paid $150 million over four years, while the Jags would have given $5 million per year over 30 years.

However, new City Council President Randy White authored an amendment, working with the mayor’s office, to keep $56 million for parks development in the stadium bill, but remove $94 million. dollars so that it can be considered later after objections from some council members.

“The Mayor’s Office and Councilman White have reached this compromise, and I fully support it. I have always been in favor of the park part. This is the other part of the bill that I believe should be discussed as part of the budget. And this will allow us to do that,” current City Council President Ron Salem said after White presented the proposal.

With the new proposal, much of the money intended for Eastside community improvements has been removed from the stadium deal and will be recouped later in the summer.

Part of the problem was that several council members work for organizations that could have received some of the $94 million in funding that would have gone to workforce development, affordable housing and combatting poverty. ‘roaming. Separating that funding allows the maximum number of council members to vote on the stadium deal.

“I didn’t think it was fair that five or maybe up to six should abstain from voting,” White said.

With the Eastside and ABC currently out of the deal, the City Council’s real concern is the future of the renovations.

During Thursday’s special meeting, News4JAX heard the finer details of the deal, such as how parking revenue will be distributed, what could happen with land around the area and more talk of a neighborhood Entertainment. It was also a time for council members to ask questions, and Councilman Mike Gay said there was a lot of information and little time to digest it.

“They’ve been working on this for years, and we’ve only been working on it for a few weeks. And so, you know, I’ve always been cautious. We need to slow it down. That’s where I’m at,” Gay said.

News4JAX asked Jaguars President Mark Lamping about the upcoming vote and his thoughts on how the negotiations are going.

“When you look at a duck, sort of floating on a lake, you know, it looks pretty serene at the top, but you don’t know what’s going on underwater with that duck,” Lamping said.

Regarding the ABC’s withdrawal from the agreement, Salem said he hoped these programs could still be implemented sooner rather than later.

RELATED | City Council could remove popular $300 million community benefits deal from Jags stadium deal and vote separately

“So we have a lot of things to look at, to see what our financial situation is. And I hope we can fund as much as possible. As I said, my priority, personally, is towards the East. I’d like to see us really try to uplift this community,” Salem said.

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