Jones: Take the $400,000

City Commissioner Errol Jones deduced that the St. Augustine Commission was “wasting time” during the regular meeting tonight discussing options and considering whether or not to accept a $400,000 settlement on the Inter-local agreement with the St. Johns County Recreation Department.

“This is a done deal,” Jones said; before making a motion that was seconded by Commissioner Bill Leary, and passed unanimously.

Jones was obviously not in the mood to re-hash the history between the City and County on this issue — Jones and County Commission Chairman J. Kenneth Bryan have publically had heated words over what Jones sees as the County simply reneging on their obligation to maintain the City-owned pool and Willie Galimore Center in favor of the County-owned pool and Solomon Calhoun Center in West Augustine.

“We’re only going to get $400,000, so, take the money and we’ll decide how we are going to handle it later,” Jones said.

Earlier in the meeting, one speaker explained that the military undertakes local naval training that requires a pool. In the past, the training unit, which is based on US-1 north of the Northeast Florida Regional Airport, has used the County pool at Solomon Calhoun. The unit is in the process of rehabilitating warehouse space that they own on the south end of Riberia Street, closer to Willie Galimore — indicating an interest in using the pool, center, and Eddie Vickers Park in their mission.

The mayor recommended that the speaker talks to the City Manager because the City might be interested in making a deal with the Department of Defense to lease the facility; a recommendation that drew a quick retort from Commissioner Jones — “let me say right now, we are not going to get rid of the Galimore Center.”

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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