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Action News Exclusive: Former mayor talks about opening of the courthouse

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Updated: 5/17/2012 11:55 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city council voted to override Mayor Brown's veto of more funding for new courthouse furniture.

Chief Judge Donald Moran is excited to finally be moving into the new 350 million dollar building. It's been 12 years in the making. "It's a new start, and a new day," said Moran.
The new courthouse has been called a money pit by some. Action News is talking exclusively to the man behind the plan to make Jacksonville better. Former Mayor John Delaney developed the better Jacksonville plan in 2000. It was a plan to improve roads, build the arena, library and the courthouse. "The courthouse has been the one frustration. My team feels like if we had 18 more months, we could've gotten it in on budget. Peyton thinks we gave him a grenade," said Delaney.

The courthouse was supposed to cost 190 million, but when Delaney left office, former mayor John Peyton made a big change and it ended up costing more.  "Peyton made a change, and stopped it. So the money spent is not in the building," said Delaney. We asked if it was lost money. "Yeah essentially it's lost money. He made a decision he felt was right. I liked the other design better," said Delaney.

For many, it's been one controversy after another for the courthouse, but now it will open at the end of the month. Delaney says it's about time. "I'm glad its opening. It's needed," said Delaney.

The courthouse is set to open May 29th.
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