With all the ballyhoo over what does and what does not fit the general description of a “450th Commemoration Legacy Project”, ostensibly an enduring asset that will remain beyond the 2015 birthday party, this will probably “take the cake” as the strangest.
During Monday night’s city commission meeting, St Augustine Fire Chief Mike Arnold asked commissioners for consent to apply for $5,000 in grant funding to pay for half of the $10,000 cost of three automated external defibrillators; if the grant is approved, it will require the city to pay the other half.
The defibrillators are scheduled to be placed at City Hall, the Municipal Marina, and the Public Works Department on West King Street, Arnold said. The $3,300 portable electronic device automatically diagnoses potentially life threatening cardiac conditions and can treat them through defibrillation, if indicated.
Without much doubt as to the lifesaving value of the defibrillators, the commission gave Arnold the nod — the surprise came when Arnold revealed that Dana Ste. Claire was offering to pay the $5,000 matching fund requirement from “450th fundraising” and to provide it under the auspices of a “450th Commemoration Legacy Project”.
Now wait a minute. Have any of the 450th fundraising efforts actually produced funds?
And, in 1965, major legacies of the 400th Anniversary were constructed which remain with us 50 years later; the St Augustine Amphitheatre, the 208-foot cross at the Mission of Nombre de Dios, and the revitalization of St George Street.
Will these three electronic devices still be technologically relevant a half-century from now?