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UNF expansion plans would require taxpayer funds

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Updated: 8/24/2013 8:00 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- UNF is planning a major expansion, but taxpayers would have to pay for part of it.

On any given day, Kernan Boulevard is busy. Traffic is running between major intersections, highways and a college university. But Action News has learned the route could change.

UNF VP of Administration and Finance Shari Shuman says the university has a major plan to expand over the next decade.

"More buildings for additional programs and academic needs," said Shuman.

To do that, part of Kernan Boulevard would be rerouted onto nearby First Coast Technology Parkway. That would mean all the traffic isn't going through campus. Action News uncovered a snag. "Kernan is a city road. They'd be responsible," said Shuman.

That means taxpayers would have to pay to move the road. "The expense of it, we'd all have to pay it. I don't think the pros outweigh the cons," said taxpayer Rachel Bedford.

There's another problem. The road project is supposed to be done under the Better Jacksonville Plan. As we told you in July, that plan is broke. "Timing is when the city will have money to do it," said Shuman.

We went to the city to find out where it stands. In an email, a city spokesperson told us, "It's one of many projects on hold right now and, when and if that account gets replenished, projects will be done based on prioritization."

While taxpayers like the idea of UNF expanding, not all are on board with paying the millions of dollars it would take to do it.

UNF has already given the city more than $3 million to start studying and designing the change.

You can read the final report here.
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wishmistress - 8/24/2013 10:58 AM
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Gunny48 - 8/24/2013 6:48 AM
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yeah...let's build a giant scoreboard with a swimming pool instead...
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