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Politics / Issues

With the Lens Design Stopped, Alliance Moves Ahead

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The 828 Alliance, the committee created by St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster on the St. Petersburg Pier, is holding a meeting this afternoon to present recommendations for what happens next. Voters turned down the Lens design on Tuesday.

The 828 Alliance -- so-called because of today's date, the day after the Lens was stopped --is ramping up plans for a new pier.

Mayor Bill Foster assured Bay News 9 that there will be a new pier.

"I think we're going to absolutely come up with something that the people will get behind. Having no pier is not an option," he said. "We're going to take advantage of this momentum and passion, and we're going to build a pier."

Committee member Ed Montanari said there will now be about $45 million available for the new pier, with $37 million of that for construction.

Fred Whaley, committee member and leader of the Stop the Lens Campaign, said the committee will be meeting with the mayor and presenting a new process. He's hoping to present a new request for proposal for 30 new designs.

Whaley said it will take another year to go through the process again.

He said a new design should be family-friendly.

"Because that's something that's sorely missed on our current waterfront. If you think about it, the young families that take their young kids down there, there really is not anything for them."
 

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