CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A controversial city take-over is expected to save taxpayers thousands of dollars. Last night Cape Coral's city council voted to take over the Community Redevelopment Agency, or CRA.
That means current board members are no longer needed.
"If they don't pay attention to the downtown, the downtown isnt going to draw businesses."
Former chairman Rich Greer has some strong words after Monday night's meeting, which ousted him and other board members, from the Community Redevelopment Agency.
"As far as I'm concerned this thing with the CRA? Was a lose-lose. I think everybody's going to lose all the way around," Greer said.
The CRA's job is to make the south section of the city a better place to live and work: creating parks, paving roads and hiding power lines.
Now current projects are in the hands of city council members, like councilman Derrick Donnell, who supports the take-over. "At the end of the day, you're going to find, we'll be able to definitely be more fiscally responsible," he said.
According to the city it costs about $3,400 a day to run the CRA building off Cape Coral Parkway. And at this time, it's too early to tell what's to be done with the building, now that city council has taken over.
"We're looking at a 400,000 dollar savings by bringing it in-house," explained Donnell. Donnell says a lot of what's next is up in the air until the city council members meet as the new CRA board next Wednesday.
As of right now, executive director John Jacobsen still has his job, but the city council could vote to replace him with the city manager in this upcoming meeting. If that happens, money used to pay Jacobsen's salary will go back into the CRA budget.
City council members do not get a pay raise for taking on additional duties.