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Referendum to be placed on November 6 ballot on future of St. Pete Pier

7:47 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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St. Pete Pier design proposal: "The Lens" by Michael Maltzan Architecture (image courtesy City of St. Petersburg)
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St. Petersburg, FL - St. Petersburg residents will get their say on the future of one of the city's most recognizable landmarks.

After two hours of discussion, council members voted 5 to 3 to have a non-binding referendum on the future of the St. Petersburg Pier placed on the November 6 ballot.

A workshop to determine if it will be one or more questions has been scheduled for Aug. 2. The language of any questions will likely be determined at the workshop as well.

Earlier in the day, the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections verified that the group had turned in 15,652 signatures, calling on city leaders to place the issue on the fall ballot. Tom Lambdon, chair of the group, called the city council action a victory for the people.

"(The taxpayers have) paid for it for 86 years; they're going to pay for it for the next 100 years- they should be able to vote on it," he told 10 News on Thursday.

Council member Wengay Newton, who had been pushing for a referendum for months was also pleased with Thursday's action.

"Public servants serve the public, politicians serve themselves and it's a shame the people had to go through all this just to prove, or to try and get an opportunity to vote on the Pier. And I think the people have met their burden," Newton said.

Currently the city is scheduled to move ahead with building a new pier referred to as The Lens.

Mayor Bill Foster says they will not spend more than $50-million on the project.

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