Two weeks away from Doak vote, debate over Blueprint funding continues

Tallahassee City Commissioners debate over funding to renovate FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 7:20 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - In two weeks, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency will vote on the bond financing for a $20 million allocation to Florida State University for infrastructure repairs to Doak Campbell Stadium.

The funding passed last September, but Commissioner Rick Minor changed his vote in December after what he described as significant opposition.

However, the funding in December moved forward in a 7 to 5 vote, with Commissioners Dozier, Porter, Matlow, Welch, and Minor against.

Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier announced at that meeting that she would be introducing a motion to scrap the entire deal during the bond financing agenda item in February.

Dozier has been a vocal opponent from the start, and she said the funding is not a “done deal.”

She argues it’s not the right use of the money. Dozier has posted a countdown on social media, explaining her reasoning on Facebook.

“Since I was elected in 2010, economic development, helping entrepreneurs, creating jobs, has been one of my primary focuses,” Dozier told WCTV. “Setting aside this 12% for economic development funds was something our community has never seen before, and it will help us do some things that frankly we will never be able to do otherwise.”

FSU has requested $20 million for the repairs, but the allocation would cost the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency more than that.

“The revenue from this sales tax just started coming in in 2020. It is a 20 year tax. So we have to borrow against revenue that we’re supposed to receive over the next 17 years,” Dozier explained.

She said the number is closer to $26 million.

“It’s moved fast, and people don’t fully understand what the impact is going to be,” Dozier said.

The issue has divided many in the community.

Supports point to FSU football’s economic impact and the allocations made to FAMU and TCC for athletic facilities.

Opponents say not only is it the wrong use for the earmarked money, but FSU has the ability to raise the funds itself.

The funding would come from the economic development section, which makes up 12% of the total budget.

Dozier is concerned about the allocation wiping out what’s left.

“The point is, we won’t have any money left to do what we promised the community we’d do when we voted on the referendum in ‘14,” Dozier said. “This money was supposed to go toward job creation. To do things in our community that we’ve never had the funds to do before. If we set aside this fund and give it to FSU, we will be left with $722,000 for the next 7 years and a mere 13 million for the 12 years after that. It will not be enough to meet our promise to our community.”

FSU emphasizes the funding will be for safety issues and ADA compliance and accessibility, not luxury boxes.

Blueprint meets on Thursday, February 24th.

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