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Community Redevelopment Area Mediation

The county says it wants to help fund the Frenchtown Community Redevelopment Area, but the city says it wants to see downtown included in the CRA boundary.

The mediation failed to come up with an agreement. Now, the county says it's going to continue the fight, while the city says it's going to continue on with the downtown CRA.

After four hours, mediation between the city of Tallahassee and Leon County has broken down.

"We've reached an impasse. The City wants to move forward with the largest single tax increase in Leon County and the City of Tallahassee. People in the unincorporated areas will not be represented," says Commissioner Tony Grippa.

"Bottom line, the County has never been willing to accept that this is what the law is and the City can do this. The original proposal was as far reaching and generous as any offer from any city in Florida," says Commissioner Mark Mustian.

The city and the county agree Frenchtown needs to be revitalized, and are working together with the CRA. They also agree, downtown Tallahassee needs to be revitalized, but the problem is whether or not downtown should be deemed a CRA, which means the money comes from a special tax fund.

"I'm not happy with the way our Downtown is. We need a vibrant community. We need additional housing and we just aren't going to get there without a tool like this," says Mark Mustian.

"Clearly, the Frenchtown CRA is important. They came before us for that, but not for the Downtown CRA. I wonder why," adds Tony Grippa.

The city says it’s going to proceed with the downtown CRA and that it's legal for them to do so. The county says it's going to seek a referendum, meaning, it wants the people to vote on it, and the county will file a lawsuit in the next week to stop the city from proceeding.

Both sides say they've offered compromises and good deals. Both sides are confident they could win in a court.


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