A lot happened at the CRA Board meeting today.
The CRA Board voted to spend almost $200,000 on leasing parking spaces near the Gaines Street corridor and a consultant that will offer a strategic assessment of downtown Tallahassee.
The CRA staff said that the parking places would help “support retail development” in the area. Mayor Marks asked staff to look into “parking meters with no poles.”
The main part of the meeting was devoted to a presentation from representatives of the Florida Center for Performing Arts Center and Education. The presenters sought support of Board members for a new Performing Arts Center to be located downtown. The presentation focused on the quality of life and economic benefits of the project. Bob Inzer, an advocate for the project, stated that we “should not expect the PAC to be financially self supporting.”
After the presentation, Board members weighed in.
When told that the project will result in over 300 sustainable jobs, Commissioner Scott Maddox responded, “this is not plausible to me.”
Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley: “I really like this project and believe the community will eventually support it.”
Mayor John Marks: ” I support this project. I would support something grander. I want a water fountain in the design.”
Commissioner Andrew Gillum: ”We are rolling a boulder up a hill. I fully endorse the complete vetting of this project.”
Commissioner Gill Ziffer: “I really want to believe in this project . The projections are a crapshoot. I would like to know what our citizens think.”
Commissioner Kristen Dozier:”My concern is on operating expenses.”
Commissioner Bill Proctor: “We need a performing central water and sewer system throughout the southside before we contemplate a performing arts center downtown.”
The next stop for the PAC is the Leon County Sales Tax Committee on Friday.