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Councilman: Give $200,000 for Ferry

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Updated: 7/10/2012 11:44 pm
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A local councilman is asking the mayor and city council to pledge $200,000 to help keep the Ferry operating for another year.

The ferry sits docked and ready for another day, as people are scrambling to make sure there's money for another year. That's why City Councilman Bill Gulliford has asked the mayor and city council to pledge $200,000 of your tax money to help keep it running. "It would come out of an existing budget," said Councilman Gulliford.

But the mayor is also proposing big cuts in his new budget, saying all agencies will be affected. We already know library funding will be cut. We've learned JFRD is facing 2.2 million dollars in cuts and 119 already vacant positions at JSO won't be filled.

Councilman Gulliford insists this is just money for one year. The mayor's office says Brown has agreed to help fund the Ferry. His spokesman told us police and fire will get the money needed to keep the community safe. "We'll continue to get a substantial amount, but the Ferry is also important asset to the community," said David Decamp.

While union leaders we talked with may disagree, saying they're stretched too thin now, the councilman says this $200,000 for the ferry wouldn't help the police and fire budget. "It's a one time dollar amount."

The councilman also says he's going to approach leaders in Jax and Neptune Beaches to help fund the ferry. Action News talked with the mayor's of both. Jax Beach told us the city wouldn't donate. While Neptune Beach's mayor says she'll bring it up at the next meeting.

Atlantic Beach voted Monday night to give $5,000 to the ferry fund. Jaxport has pledged $200,000, as long as the Department of Transportation, the Jacksonville City Council and supporters can come up with the rest. If not, the ferry will shut down in late September.
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