Blueprint Committee Votes For 20 years and $756 Million…Then Fireworks!

The Leon County Sales Tax Committee voted for a 20 year term for the next round of financing of the Blueprint Program. The current round of Blueprint 2000 ends in six years.

Using a matrix with projected tax collections provided by staff, the Committee was unanimous in voting for a 20 year term that will raise approximately $756 million. As of now, 65% of the tax goes to Committee approved projects, 20% to the city and county, and 15% to economic development projects.

The Committee also voted to add the Northeast Park and the Desoto Winter Encampment to the list of high priority projects.

The vote means that $491 million (65% of $756 million)  will be available for Committee selected projects. However, as of today, the Committee has voted for a total of $623 million in high priority projects. Now the real work begins as the Committee begins to cut projects.

If the first shot at cutting a project is any indication of the future, these meetings will be interesting!

Committee member Henree Martin moved that the Orange Avenue widening project, at cost of $37 million, be removed from the high priority list. She argued that there were too many projects on the Southside.

Committee member Curtis Richardson took strong exception to the motion.

He stated that “he was perturbed that the subject even came up, it was not on any agenda. Why this project”

Visibly upset by the motion, Richardson said “it is time for equity on the Southside.”

The motion was withdrawn and the confrontation was diffused by a request for staff to bring information to the next meeting showing the geographical distribution of the dollars associated with the high priority projects.

In addition, member Christic Henry asked staff to also look at the geographical distribution of dollars from the previous Blueprint program.

The next meeting is June 13, 2013.

5 Responses to "Blueprint Committee Votes For 20 years and $756 Million…Then Fireworks!"

  1. The map won’t show you that “Cascades Park” was listed on the EPA’s toxic superfund list, not funded, just listed, and Remedial Activities were EPA enforced. Or how many people, cars, and animals ended up in the Franklin Blvd ditch during decades of flash floods. Or that the expansion of Thomasville and Mahan roads were not warranted, at least based upon the actual real live trip counts and were advanced ahead of at least two roads on the south side that had been deficient for a number of years.

    BTW, the original projections showed that somewhere around 25 to 30 percent of the tax funds were expected to come from residents of adjoining counties and visitors to the community. The current numbers are in that ballpark. I’m not suggesting the money be used for projects in Wakulla and Gadsden counties.

    1. Carol, Thanks for pointing out Tville road widening was not warranted to 6 lanes vs 4. Some will say yes but I’ll bet if it was widened to 8 lanes it would eventually get crowded again. Look at any city. Lots of taxdollars seems to go to widening roads instead of alternatives and better/cheaper zoning. How many lanes is enough for our taxdollars? Capital Circle near the airport is very wide and ugly and was empty last time I drove it.

  2. A map showing the distribution of project funds would be good; this would be even more informative if it was accompanied by a map showing where the money is expected to come from.

  3. Steve, Thanks for reporting on this issue and I look forward to the geographical maps showing the distribution of projects. As I see understand now there are only three projects in the North East sector. keep up the good work.

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