Blueprint Votes 8-4 to Support $20 Mill FSU Investment

Blueprint Votes 8-4 to Support $20 Mill FSU Investment

During the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (IA) Board of Directors Meeting on Monday, the Board approved the$20 million request by Florida State University (FSU) to fund repairs and maintenance to Doak Campbell Stadium.

The item passed with a 5-2 vote by the county offical and a 3-2 vote by the city officials.

Those city officials supporting the investment were Mayor John Dailey, and City Commissioners Curtis Richardson and Dianne Williams-Cox. City Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter voted against the project.

On the county side, Commissioners Nick Maddox, Carolyn Cummings, Rick Minor, Jimbo Jackson, and Bill Proctor supported the funding. County Commissioners Kristin Dozier and Brian Welch voted against.

The request for funding was directed at the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV) which is charged with improving the local business climate with strategic investments. The OEV does not typically provide support for venue upgrades. However, it is acceptable if the project is deemed to improve the local economy.

Another complicating factor was the fact that only $20 million was available in bonding capacity via the Blueprint program managed by OEV.

The request by FSU is for financial assistance in addressing structural repairs to the stadium. A report prepared by EMI, a global architecture firm hired to provide assessment, identified 48 items requiring resolution to reach safe and accessible stadium usage.

The Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA) projected that the project would create 248 total jobs and $11.58 million in wages.

Currently, an FSU football season brings in more than $80.1 million in economic impact, $47.8 million is generated by direct spending from visiting fans. The expenditure by visiting fans supports 1,072 jobs and $24.5 million in wages.

As FSU adds enhancements to Doak Campbell Stadium and hosts additional events, an estimated $20.3 million will be added to the annual economic impact if the proposed stadium upgrades are completed.

Commissioner Rick Minor favored funding the project stating, FSU is “one of the biggest economic drivers in this community.” However, he said he was conflicted about having zero bonding capacity for future projects. Minor made a motion to approve the funding but to reduce the amount to $15 million. The motion eventually failed.

Commissioner Jeremy Matlow discounted what the funds would be used for and suggested the OEV “consider the funds a loan,” so the city and county could be reimbursed for their investment. Also, Matlow made a motion to approve $10 million in funding for FSU’s project. However, not to bond it and revisit the issue in February 2022 when the Board discusses the budget. This motion also eventually failed.

Both Commissioner Bill Proctor and Curtis Richardson ardently endorsed the funding. Richardson argued that FSU took over the financial responsibility of the Civic Center when it was “bleeding money” and the millage rate would have most surely gone up if they hadn’t done so. “Should we just forget that,” he added.

Proctor stated he didn’t understand why so many wanted to shut the project down and why they cite the southside community needs as one of the reasons to do so. Proctor said FSU and the stadium are open doors for people who live on the southside to enter a great institution and become young men and do great things.

Proctor voted no on the first two substitute motions and favored the original motion for a total of $20 million.

24 Responses to "Blueprint Votes 8-4 to Support $20 Mill FSU Investment"

  1. Does Curtis Richardson ever get tired of lying on behalf of lobbyists and the white power structure? Richardson would sell his soul for a quarter if given the opportunity. Even a dime might do.

    Richardson was known for stabbing black people in the back even when he was on the school board where he destroyed a program originally set up by C.K. Steele to advance the integration of a segregated Leon County School system.

    Richardson even voted for the Koch Brothers’ “Stand Your Ground” legislation which helped to get Trayvon Martin killed.

    Black people in Leon County are in trouble. All of our elected political “leaders” betrayed us by this greed based giveaway to FSU for a stadium at a time when the corrupt tyrants that run this town proclaim that there is not enough money to keep community based libraries open on Mondays.

    Meanwhile illiteracy, black infant mortality, and childhood hunger in Leon County are off the charts.

    Thank God for Commissioners Matlow and Porter. Even Commissioner Dozier recognizes that the $20 million boondoggle for a FSU football stadium is obscene.

  2. As usual, the fix was in on this rather significant expenditure.

    For any of you who may have watched (suffered through) this three-hour item on the Blueprint meeting agenda, did you happen to notice the complete lack of participation by Mayor Dailey? He literally did not ask one question or say one word until Commissioner Maddox asked him if he wanted to say anything. His response, and only words he uttered at the meeting were, “I vote for option one.” That was the option to approve the $20 million of course.

    This man holds the highest ranking position in our city and has no opinion, suggestions, or comments on a decision to spend $20 million of the taxpayer’s money? That’s simply pathetic.

    As Hope wrote earlier, “Vote every incumbent out!”

  3. @David Hawkes: So says BP on their website/ their dog and pony show at 3-4 locations was a sham- inly saw 10-15 citizens at the Ghazvini Center off Micc Rd

  4. @ Publius… all that money, and the local yokals can’t even maintain 322 on your list at a reasonable level of effectiveness.

    One would think that since the BIA has blown its wad… there is no reason to continue its existence. I mean, if you’ve closed you bank account, what hang on to your ATM card? We all know that “oversight” (insert wink here) is just an illusion, so shut it down and save the costs of operations.


  5. FSU has been noted as a “research school” and trying to increase yearly.

    Isn’t it SC which has a major university area that has fueled tremendous growth in new and existing businesses FROM that university’s various research programs?

    SO, Why does all the FSU research go out of town?

    TR wouldn’t this be a great multi-part article?

  6. I’ll never vote for another bond initiative until everyone involved with Blueprint is dead. This county is thoroughly corrupt. They are all a bunch of thieves that believe all your money is up for grabs and all they have to do is pass some bs bond initiative so they can steal it.

    And it turns out they’re right…

  7. @ Publius = When did the “Citizens” approve those Projects? I sure don’t remember approving any of them or seeing any of them on a Ballot.

  8. Here are the BP 27 projects citizens approved. Where did it say FSU?

    -Airport Gateway: Springhill Road and Lake Bradford Road
    -Alternative Sewer Solutions Study
    -Beautification and Improvements to the Fairgrounds
    -Bike Route System
    -Capital Circle Southwest
    -College Avenue Placemaking
    -DeSoto Winter Encampment
    -Florida A&M Entry Points
    -Greenways Master Plan
    -Lake Lafayette and St. Marks Regional Linear Park
    -Market District
    -Midtown Placemaking
    -Monroe-Adams Corridor Placemaking
    -North Monroe Gateway
    -Northeast Connector Corridor: Widening of Bannerman Road
    -Northeast Gateway Welaunee Critical Area Plan Regional Infrastructure
    -Northeast Park
    -Northwest Connector Corridor: Widening of Tharpe Street
    -Operating Costs for Parks Built with Sales Tax Funds
    -Orange Avenue/Meridian Road Placemaking
    -Orange Avenue: Widening from Adams Street to Springhill Road
    -Southside Gateway Enrichment: Woodville Highway
    -StarMetro Enhancements
    -Tallahassee-Leon County Animal Service Center
    -Water Quality and Stormwater Improvements
    -Westside Student Corridor Gateway: -Widening of Pensacola Street

  9. Maybe if they stopped taking millions in taxes we would have amore diverse economy. Instead let’s funnel more to govt schools and bureaucrats

  10. @ Brian Rowland: I believe it only seats 88,000 and you are Shoulder to Shoulder. I stopped going to Games there because I don’t want to sit Shoulder to Shoulder with ANYONE. Blueprint should not be paying for this.

  11. @ Frank = IF Florida A&M is funded by the public through the government of the state of Florida then, Yes, it was equally wrong. FSU IS funded by the public through the government of the state of Florida, that’s is where the Money should have come from, the State.

  12. Didn’t Seminole Boosters a few years back have issues with staff stealing $? Aren’t there some Boosters staff probably way over-paid? How does the Public know this isn’t some additional use of $ for which the folks having access to the $ are not accountable for the use of the $?

  13. Commissioner Welch, Dozier, Porter and Matlow deserve a heaping amount of praise for their courage to oppose FSU, and the John Dailey/Bryan Desloge/VancoreJones cabal. Keep up the great work! Only a few more seats to flip.

  14. You would think after the revelations about the cozy relationships, and the “yes men” at Blueprint and City Hall after the FBI corruption trial, our elected officials would be concerned with projects like this. After all, they are so concerned about ethics and the look of impropriety, right? Well, that’s what they say. Bottom line, they might be able to spend millions on a Blueprint project that will destroy neighborhoods in the cover of infrastructure, but no where is renovating a stadium what this money should be used for. Same ole, same ole!
    If you want different, you gotta do different, and expect different.

  15. When you have corrupted elected officials, a corrupt Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, FBI investigation, successful Federal prosecutions, PR hacks also known as The Usual Suspects sucking the life, energy, tax dollars and human decency out of our quality of life this is what you get. Let the Seminole Boosters have a carwash to earn the money for the repairs and quit endorsing candidates like Nick Maddox.

    The south side should be enraged and concerned that their elected officials are abandoning them.

    Vote every incumbent out!

  16. Blowing your entire bonding capacity in one fell swoop is not a smart business or governing move. Very foolish people… very foolish.

  17. One more thing……They are constantly Remodeling and adding onto that place so, HOW did they let get to the point of needing $20 MILLION DOLLARS in Repairs? They should be setting aside 15 to 20 present of Profits to take care of any repairs and maintenance and they should stay on top of it.

  18. “On the county side, Commissioners Nick Maddox, Carolyn Cummings, Rick Minor, Jumbo Jackson, and Bill Proctor supported the funding.” ………….. JUMBO JACKSON? Don’t you love Auto-Correction? LOL (being humorous Folks)

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