No one in the room seemed quite clear on the details, in fact not even on what the $10.5M would pay for, whether the federal funds had been used yet, or what the requirements were to meet federal and state guidelines. But in the end, the Council approved $10.5M for phase 4a of Beale Street Landing.
The discussion was never about whether it was a good idea to spend $10.5M to build a restaurant, ticket sales/gift area, and parking lot in Tom Lee Park or about any possible alternatives, but rather about the City being able to collect federal dollars. Benny Lendermon, RDC president, said that it was a City project, not an RDC project, and that the City was in charge of the funding.
Here's a rough estimate of the overall cost: $20M already spent, $10.5M now approved, $1M from private sources, proposed $1M switch to BSL from Housing and Community Development, and $6.8M for landscaping "pods", which at this time is not included in future City budgets.
The vote was 8-3 with one abstention. Voting against the funding were Councilmen Shea Flinn, Reid Hedgepeth, and Kemp Conrad. Councilwoman Wanda Halbert abstained.
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