Author Topic: City Council president nixes public workshop request for river dredging  (Read 599 times)

Flash60

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City Council president nixes public workshop request for river dredging
By David Bauerlein

Jacksonville City Council President Anna Brosche said Tuesday she will not call for a council workshop on the deepening of the St. Johns River for bigger cargo ships.

Brosche’s decision came in response to a request from City Council members John Crescimbeni and Tommy Hazouri for her to convene a council workshop in wake of JaxPort putting forward a funding plan in July that would have the city pay for $47 million to $150 million of the $484 million cost of deepening 11 miles of the river.

Brosche said JaxPort has not requested any city funding for the next two years and based on conversations with port authority Interim CEO Eric Green, JaxPort may never ask the city for money to dredge the harbor, drawing instead from other sources to do the deepening.

“The funding requirements of the project and related implications on Jacksonville taxpayers are not certain or known, are continuing to evolve, and may never materialize,” Brosche said in announcing her decision.

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Brosche said JaxPort is an independent authority, so City Council cannot legally stop it from moving forward with the dredging.

She said because of a federal lawsuit filed by the St. Johns Riverkeeper to stop the dredging, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would not participate in a public workshop to explain the Corps’ reports while the lawsuit is active.

JaxPort also would not take part in public discussions because General Counsel Jason Gabriel and an outside firm hired to represent JaxPort in federal court have advised the port authority against making public comments while the lawsuit continues.

“Under the above circumstances, I do not believe a public workshop and/or discussion by the City Council will yield results to the satisfaction of those requesting the same, nor do I believe a public discussion will yield an outcome different than the path on which we currently find ourselves,” Brosche said. “Therefore, I will not sponsor or hold public workshops at this time.”

She said Green has pledged that after the federal lawsuit is resolved that JaxPort will take part in public discussions. She said that would be the right time to evaluate whether the council should have a public workshop.

“I am confident that we can continue to pursue a balance approach regarding harbor deepening so we can grow our economy and support international trade while also protecting our environment,” she said.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-08-21/city-council-president-nixes-public-workshop-request-river-dredging

jaxjags

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Re: City Council president nixes public workshop request for river dredging
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 06:31:39 PM »
If you read the 10 reasons she lists, I believe her logic is correct.