Jacksonville, FL - As Jacksonville’s City Council prepares for a final vote on how to invest $11 million long-term, the final vote on city services that immediately impact you remains stalled.
At Tuesday’s general meeting, council will give its final vote on designating $11 million the city gained through refinancing bonds for development use. The ordinance would place $9 million in an account for downtown development and $2 million in an account for countywide development.
“There may be further scrutiny about how those funds may be appropriated in the future,” says Finance Chair John Crescimbeni.
Crescimbeni tells us while he believes the council will support the ordinance, that doesn’t necessarily mean the money is stuck for that specific use. There had been some question on whether the money should be appropriated for development rather than held in reserve. Because actually spending the money would still require a council vote, Crescimbeni says it’s a safer bet.
“If we want to buy new fire trucks or we want to buy some property- I mean we can use it for whatever the council thinks is most prudent,” he says.
While that investment is facing its final vote, one measure the administration hoped would be on Tuesday’s agenda is noticeably absent. An amended version of a proposal dealing with mowing allocates even more money to mowing, as well as funding to turn all city street lights back on and a few other things.
The measure was introduced last Monday, but Finance failed to address Tuesday. Crescimbeni says that’s largely because of timing- they spent a lot of time on the bond refinancing question which left them without enough to adequately address this issue.
But he says questions on this definitely remain.
“I think they [committee members] want to make darn sure that the money a) is in face available and b) we’re not gunna get blindsided down the road with any shortfalls,” he says.
Crescimbeni expects that ordinance will be taken up at the next Finance meeting Tuesday. It also has to clear the Recreation & Community Development Committee. Committee Chair Doyle Carter did not return an interview request.