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Politics / Issues

St. Pete Pier Public Input Sessions Start Today

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Last month, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a 21-member group of stakeholders, business owners and residents to move the new St. Petersburg Pier project along. Over the next two weeks, the rest of the public will have a chance to help determine which ideas will sink and which will swim during public input sessions throughout the city. Participants can voice their opinions to the 21-person Working Group about what they want from the new pier.

The mayor's spokesman, Ben Kirby, said that the pier's functional elements will be one of the main talking points.

"Do you want fine dining? Do you want fast food?" Kirby said. "Picnic area? Kiosks? A hotel? An amphitheater? What do you want to see? A stage area? What is it that you want the pier to do?"

Voters struck down the last pier project, the Lens, through a citizen-led referendum. According to critics, it didn't have the amenities they wanted. That's why Kirby said Mayor Kriseman wants to hear from the public.  

"This is their big chance to make their voice heard and understand that whatever it is we're going to do with this pier, we have some parameters with respect to the budget," Kirby said.

Kirby said the city has $46 million dollars left to work with.

Those unable to attend one of the five sessions can take the pier survey on the city website. The first meeting will be held tonight at Childs Park Recreation Center at 7 p.m. The schedule for the rest of the meetings is below.

Tuesday, June 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Avenue N.

Thursday, June 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Roberts Recreation Center, 1246 50th Ave. N.

Monday, June 3o from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Lake Vista Recreation Center, 1401 62nd Ave. S.

Wednesday, July 2 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at J.W. Cate Recreation Center, 5801 22nd Ave. N.