TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "I want my $20 million back!"
Putting $20 million into poverty-impacted communities, reducing crime and homelessness, and creating more permanent jobs and businesses are just a few economic development projects community members spoke about at Monday night's town hall meeting. Community Activist, Stanley Sims, said people showed up to be heard.
"No, you will not take my tax dollars and do whatever you want with them."
The meeting was spearheaded by the NAACP and the people of Leon County who want the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency to change the vote. Trish Brown with the Tallahassee Community Action Committee spoke out at the town hall and addressed her concerns with the funding.
"City commissioners and county commissioners are supposed to put us first, you're supposed to put our lives first because we're out here dying because of this."
That vote is to spend $20 million of Leon County sales tax revenue to fund renovations at Florida State University's Doak Campbell Stadium. In May, ABC 27 uncovered FSU Seminole Boosters would raise $100 million for a facelift, while Blueprint's chunk would go towards fixing safety issues like new handrails and beams. FSU says these upgrades will create 250 jobs and $102 million in economic impact. Several city and county commissioners that makeup Blueprint IA support the funding for Doak, like Commissioner Bill Proctor who came to Monday night's meeting.
"There may not be agreement on what has been adopted but hopefully there will be clarity."
Proctor says FSU is an economic engine for the community and says this funding will continue future job creation and revenue.
"Cyclical income of citizens who come on Saturday is a part of culture, what we do in Tallahassee, we love our football and we want to continue to make sure our stakeholders are understanding."
In addition to the $20 million that was approved for renovations in late September, $6 million will be added onto that at the next Blueprint meeting for debt services that may or may not be covered by Blueprint.
On Dec. 9, Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency will meet at city hall for a final vote to bond the approved funding for Doak Campbell Stadium.