Police station deal announced in mayor's first speech
A major announcement highlighted Rick Kriseman's first state of the city address, the new mayor's first speech reviewing St. Petersburg's affairs.
Kriseman said on Jan. 24, 2015, that he had reached a deal with the county to use $20 million in Penny for Pinellas sales tax money to help build a new, $70 million police headquarters. A new facility has been slated to be built across the street from the current building on First Avenue North has been in the works for years, but the recession and a lack of revenue derailed plans.
There had been talk of building the headquarters in phases, but the Penny for Pinellas money would allow the station to be built all at once. Plans are for the building to be used for 70 years, and be constructed well enough to withstand a Category IV hurricane. The St. Petersburg City Council and Pinellas County Commission formally agreed to the plan in in February.
Kriseman also said he was hopeful about two other contentious issues: Stadium negotiations with the Rays and plans for the city's downtown Pier. While talks between the team and the mayor reached a standstill after the council rejected a prior plan in 2014, the Pier process pushed onward.
"I'm the third mayor to contend with this issue and I'm determined to be the last," he said. Kriseman's selection committee chose the Pier Park design as the final design on April 23. The city council now will have to authorize contract negotiations with the designers.
Kriseman spoke with pride about hiring new Police Chief Anthony Holloway, and said he has worked hard to support gay and lesbian rights, a higher minimum wage for municipal employees and a better business climate. He touted the changing face of the city, with communities coming together in ways they hadn't before.
"A seamless city calls for blurred lines. In fact, it is a requirement. And I am pleased to see lines and boundaries throughout the city being eliminated at a rapid pace," he said. "Many of the faces I see downtown at Paper Street Market are the same faces we see at Brocante Market on 22nd Street South."
This was Kriseman's first state of the city speech, but he has more to deliver. Until he's given one every year of his term, we rate this promise In The Works.
YouTube, "St. Petersburg State of the City Address," Jan. 26, 2015
Tampa Bay Times, "Mayor Rick Kriseman has deal for new St. Petersburg police headquarters," Jan. 24, 2015
Tampa Tribune, "Rick Kriseman announces plan for new police station," Jan. 24, 2015
Tampa Bay Times, "St. Petersburg sets aside up to $70M for new police headquarters," Feb. 5, 2015
Tampa Bay Times, "County agrees to $20 million in Penny for Pinellas funds for St. Pete police station," Feb. 10, 2015
Tampa Bay Times, "Next pier move up to St. Petersburg City Council," April 24, 2015
Interview with Ben Kirby, mayor's communications director, April 10, 2015