Proposal to cancel St Petersburg 'Lens' project contract

4:31 PM, Jun 20, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- The St. Petersburg City Council is scheduled to discuss Thursday a proposal by the Chamber of Commerce to cancel the contract.

In a letter to city council, the chamber urged members to end the divisiveness that has gripped the city between people who want the Lens and those who wants something like a pier that includes retail shops.

"It has been the most divisive issue since the building of Tropicana Field. And I think people still have a bad taste in their mouth from that," said St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster.

The chamber letter also suggest that city officials "start the new process immediately" and "we urge the city to conserve all current resources allocated for this project until this process is designed."

Still, the City has already shelled out $3 million for the Lens design.

Chamber officials say that as a part of any new pier design proposal, the Lens must be considered as a finalist.

"We also say let's get back on a timeline and budget and process. We want to know when we're going to build the next pier and what's it going to look like," said Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. 

If the council decides to cancel the contract, Mayor Foster said next month's plan to force a public vote could be nullified.

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