JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- A new report on the city's finances is recommending extra money not be spent.
That includes Mayor Alvin Brown's plan to invest $11 million in the city. That money was saved by refinancing bonds. Toney Sleiman is one of the owners of The Landing. It's a central part of the Downtown Jacksonville. Most nights though, it looks like a ghost town.
Brown is pushing to change that. His new plan to invest in downtown is getting some new resistance. "If I was a betting man, and I am, the mayor is going to win this one," said Sleiman.
According to a report from the city council auditor's office, the mayor's idea to invest $11 million in Jacksonville should be put on hold to see how funding shapes up for the rest of the fiscal year. About $9 million of that would be invested in downtown.
City Council President Bill Bishop says the report is fair and fiscally responsible, but he doesn't agree with all of it.
"With respect to where the money came from, no not entirely," said Bishop. "That $9 million is a lot, but it's not going to solve the problems of downtown, not even by half or a third."
Sleiman is confident the auditor's report won't stop the money from coming in for downtown. "He's gonna bring money. I don't care what this audit says," said Sleiman.
The mayor's proposal still has to go through approval from city council. The mayor's office tells Action News the $11 million will benefit the city long term to increase private investment and economic growth.
To read the entire report, go to http://www.coj.net/city-council/docs/council-auditor/final-report-12-31-12.aspx