Council approves $5.4 million for 'Lens' plans - FOX 13 News

Council approves $5.4 million for 'Lens' plans

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

The proposed next-generation St. Petersburg Pier survived a critical vote Thursday that could lead to its eventual construction. The St. Petersburg City Council approved the next $5.4 million expenditure on the "Lens."

In doing so, council members accepted the "basis for design," which details the overall dimensions and architectural features. It also funds pre-construction design services. Money was also allocated for geo-technical work required to demolish the existing Pier and build the Lens.

The decision came after dozens of people spoke in favor and in opposition to the project, and a lengthy discussion by council members. One change: the council would like some sort of marina space provided for pleasure boaters. That amenity was eliminated from the original concept for the Lens, becoming an enclosed marina for non-motorized boats.

Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg, which has an organized petition campaign underway to "Stop the Lens," is expected to redouble its efforts. Separately, the demolition of the existing Pier without a referendum, the subject of an earlier petition that the city council rejected, is now the subject of a lawsuit.

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