City Council approves money to repair Huguenot Park's Hurricane Matthew damage

Help is on the way for the rebuilding of Huguenot Park. The Jacksonville City Council voted in favor of approving $550,000 to get the park back open.

In a 19-0 vote, the City Council voted all in favor Tuesday night of approving $550,000 to help rebuild Huguenot Park after it was damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

“I believe this is going to come from the general fund, to get this opened up,” Councilman Al Ferraro said.

Ferraro said getting the park back open is the main goal. The park shut down after Hurricane Matthew hit this fall.

“Right now, we got jagged edges and rocks, and debris around there that need to be fixed up,” Ferraro said.

Sky Action News Jax, the only news chopper in town, flew over the damage days after the storm, and debris and damage could be seen for miles.

"We were very, fortunate, we lost power for 2 1/2 days, but no damage to the building, which is remarkable, since we're right on the water," said Lee Smith, manager of Sandollar Restaurant.

But Smith said he has seen a 25 percent decrease in business since the temporary closing of the park.

“It’s definitely down,” Smith said.

That is one of the main reasons Ferraro said things have to get back to normal.

“It’s the only park that we can drive on with a car. There’s a lot of people that likes to use the park. My goal is to get something open, hopefully, by January, or maybe February, I’m not looking for it to go further than that,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro said right now, the funds will just go toward rebuilding the roads. They are working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get funds for the rest of the park.

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