ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
83°
Scattered Clouds
H 86° L 68°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    83°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 68°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    80°
    Evening
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 68°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    69°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 62°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
City to borrow $2 million for Southbank Riverwalk, pending final vote
Close

City to borrow $2 million for Southbank Riverwalk, pending final vote

City to borrow $2 million for Southbank Riverwalk, pending final vote
Photo Credit: ActionNewsJax
Jacksonville Riverwalk

City to borrow $2 million for Southbank Riverwalk, pending final vote

Finishing Jacksonville’s Southbank Riverwalk will happen- with a two million dollar boost from borrowed money.

That’s the recommendation today from the city’s Finance Committee, with a vote in front of the full City Council scheduled to come.

We first told you several months ago that the initial $15 million budget for the Riverwalk reconstruction would fall short. Since that time, city lawmakers have been digging in to what caused the budgeting problems and what it would take to finish the project. The contractor and subcontractors have agreed to freeze the total they need at $2.3 million until May 1st.

“I suspect if we don’t local in that price now, it will only continue to go up,” says Councilman John Crescimbeni.

So despite many lingering questions on project oversight, the Finance Committee gave the green light for getting the full funding approved. Public Works has told the committee they were able to save about $300,000 from the initial budget allocation for the project. The remaining $2 million will now be borrowed.

Finance Chair Greg Anderson says it’s important to see this project completed, and this is likely the most affordable way to do it at this point.

“When we’re walking on it and we’re enjoying the views and we see how it’s been programmed, I think it’s going to be a great addition to the community,” Anderson says.

He says he wants to keep the taxpayers front and center when making these decisions- and that the city may need to pay closer attention to how contracts for some projects like the Southbank Riverwalk are being funded. Crescimbeni wants to go even further, figuring out how to prevent the scope of a project from significantly changing between when it’s approved and when it’s enacted.

“We’re just going to have to settle some of these questions later,” he says.

Upon Crescimbeni’s request, the Office of the General Counsel reviewed the authority of the Mayor to move ahead with this construction project knowing the funding was no longer enough to fund the whole project. The decision, attached to the left, says it is within the Mayor’s discretion to move ahead once the Council approves, and that he has no obligation to bring it back in front of the Council.

“We’re going to have to figure out a way that we can rein this in,” Crescimbeni says.

The Mayor’s Office issued a statement reading in part that they appreciate the partnership of some of the Councilmembers working on this project.

“The destructive approach by a few other Council members provides little benefit to our residents and quality of life,” the statement reads.

The funding approval is scheduled to go in front of the full Council next week. The Southbank Riverwalk enhancements are scheduled to conclude later this year.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A person walking in a Northwest Jacksonville neighborhood makes an unsettling discovery. We’re told a woman’s body was found off Railway Avenue, near Harding Avenue. The victim is a white female between 20 and 40 years old, according to JSO Sergeant Chuck Ford.  There are no obvious indications of the cause of death, so Ford says they are treating this like a homicide investigation. JSO is processing the scene and speaking with people in the area in an effort to piece together exactly what happened.  Ford says they will wait for findings from the Medical Examiner to know the cause of death. It’s unclear how long the body has been there, but Ford says it doesn’t appear to have been too long, as they were able to get some visual clues about the race, age, and gender of the victim.
  • A domestic dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend in Puerto Rico reportedly led to the brutal death of the woman’s Chihuahua.  According to the BBC, Luis Arroyo, 40, killed the 2-month-old puppy by biting off its head on Feb. 4 in the mountain town of Lares.  >> Read more trending news Arroyo, who was unemployed, had been living with his 38-year-old girlfriend for six months when he punched her and decapitated her puppy, the report said. He pleaded guilty to charges of domestic abuse and animal abuse, and was sentenced to seven years in prison, the BBC reported. Arroyo is also required to pay a $3,000 fine relating to the case, according to the BBC. Read more here.
  • A Virginia family on a trip to New York returned home to find their apartment burglarized and vandalized. >> Read more trending news  The family, which is Muslim and had immigrated from Pakistan last year, discovered profanity-laden graffiti scrawled on the walls of their home, a Quran torn and artwork that contained religious calligraphy damaged, CNN reported. They have requested that their last name not be released. Their green cards were stolen, and more than $25,000 worth of gold they had received as wedding gifts was also taken, WRC reported.  But the family doesn’t think that they were targeted because of their religion; rather they believe the burglars vandalized the apartment and their belongings once they discovered the family was Muslim. The break-in happened sometime between March 24 and March 27, CNN reported. The family says they will not live in the apartment after the burglary, but will plan on finding a new place to live in the same area.
  • A mother was charged Thursday in connection with the death of her 4-year-old son in Butler County, Pennsylvania. >> Read more trending news MacKenzie Peters was charged with felony child endangerment in connection with Bentley Miller’s death. Peters' boyfriend, 20-year-old Keith Lambing, is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated indecent assault in connection with the boy's death.  According to a criminal complaint obtained by WPXI, Miller suffered abuse several days before he died. Police found a burn mark on the boy's hand, which police believe was from an iron. Investigators said Peters knew about the burn, but did not seek medical treatment. The district attorney said he has no proof that Peters abused the child, but is not ruling out that she knew about past physical injuries. The complaint also said that investigators found drug paraphernalia in the motel room where Peters, Lambing, Miller and Peters' 4-year-old child had been staying. Lambing’s mother, 43-year-old Kristen Lee Herold, faces charges of child endangerment. RELATED: Woman charged in connection with 4-year-old boy's death; charges to be filed against man The district attorney said Lambing had been watching the boy for a few hours at the Super 8 Motel in Butler while Peters was at work. According to court papers, Bentley suffered substantial injuries to his body, including cuts and bruises, and was sexually assaulted. Investigators said Lambing called his mother, Herold, because the boy was in need of medical attention. RAW VIDEO: News conference on search for man after death of 4-year-old RELATED: Vigil held for 4-year-old boy, man wanted for questioning in custody Police said Herold was taking Bentley to his father's house -- not to a hospital, as initially reported -- when the boy stopped breathing. Herold pulled into the parking lot of a credit union on Hanson and called 911, stating the boy was bleeding and unresponsive, police said.   Police said that when the boy was taken by ambulance, Herold allegedly went back to the motel to alert her son and to help him escape. Police later confirmed that the boy died of severe blood loss due to forced sodomy. Police said they found Herold and Lambing hiding in an attic in a home in Butler on Wednesday. 'It's unthinkable, what happened to this little boy,' District Attorney Richard Goldinger said Monday. 'We're just going to try to get justice for him and his family.”

The Latest News Videos