Town hall asks Blueprint Commission to reconsider $20 million FSU payment and “Say No 2 Doak”

The “Say No 2 Doak” town hall came two months after the Blueprint Commission approved the measure in a eight to four vote.
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 11:26 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Inside the Lincoln Center Monday night, a packed house pushed back against plans to spend $20 million of taxpayer dollars on Doak Campbell Stadium renovations.

The “Say No 2 Doak” town hall came two months after the Blueprint Commission approved the measure in an eight to four vote.

The event was officially hosted by the NAACP Tallahassee Branch. President Mutaqee Akbar said the group took action after a considerable public response.

Ruth Chase is a concerned citizen who helped organize Monday’s meeting.

“We feel there’s a general lack of awareness about his money,” she said.

Akbar pointed out that the $20 million would really be a nearly $27 million bill for taxpayers, since Blueprint has to pay interest for the bond.

The move would dry up a fund earmarked for economic development. That’s a concern for Akbar.

“If another project comes along, it could be workforce development or something else- what happens then?” he said.

Meanwhile, Chase argues FSU can afford stadium repairs without public dollars.

“Nothing is going to stop FSU football,” she said. “They have the money, they have the will, they can fix it themselves. But they shouldn’t fix it on the backs of poor Tallahassee.”

County Commissioner Bill Proctor voted to approve the funding back in September. Talking with WCTV Monday, he defended the move.

He pointed to the proposed convention center initiative, which fizzled out. He argues the $20 million for Doak was going to be used for an FSU facility initially.

“There’s not been a more successful performing arts center than Doak Campbell stadium and in particular under the years of Jimbo Fisher and Coach Bobby Bowden,” he said.

The final approval for the funding is expected at the Dec. 9 Blueprint meeting.

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