Landing preps for Christmas tree lighting ceremony

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thousands of Christmas lights will be illuminated Friday evening at the 29th annual "Christmas on the River" tree lighting ceremony at the Jacksonville Landing.ID=76451236

The two-hour show will start at 7 p.m. and take place in the Landing's courtyard.

The Landing says City Council President Greg Anderson will help host the lighting of the 56-foot-tall Christmas tree.

The tree will be illuminated with over 78,000 L.E.D. lights and be decorated with more than 100 ornaments and large bows.

The event is free and open to the public.

Space is expected to be limited in the courtyard and the Landing is asking visitors not to bring chairs.

Metro Park's stage off-limits during city inspection

ID=75537118JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The stage at Metro Park downtown is off limits as the city decides on whether it can repair or must replace the existing canopy.

City inspectors have decided that something needs to be done before events can be held under the covered white-top.

The park that's usually used for all kinds of different events is still open.

What cannot be used is the stage covered by a weathered and aged canopy.

Jacksonville Landing not in city spending plans this year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A downtown landmark that has been the topic of planning and conversation for major renovation for years now is not in the city's capital spending plans this year.ID=72997824

The six acres of waterfront property is owned by the city, and developer Toney Sleiman owns the structure and the long term lease to the property.

In the city's capital budget, there is a line item for the Landing calling for $11.8 million dollars for roads and infrastructure improvements. The mayor or the city council did not propose to include money this year for the Landing.

Jacksonville city budget up for final vote

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayor Lenny Curry's One City-One Jacksonville spending plan for the upcoming year is up for a final vote Monday night by the city council.

The proposed budget that does not call for a millage rate increase is for l $1.1 billion dollars to cover the daily expenses of running the city.

Curry, who campaigned on public safety, proposed 147 new police officers to cover positions lost in previous years. The proposed budget - with the recommendation of Sheriff Mike Williams - calls for adding 95 positions: 40 police officers, 40 community service officers and 15 additional officers through a federal grant program.

The budget also calls for public library hours to be expanded with an appropriation of an additional million dollars.

City unveils $37 million plan to repair collapsed Liberty Street

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- A $37 million project that would permanently repair downtown's collapsed Liberty Street and expand the area's riverfront got early approval from the City Council on Wednesday.

Council President Greg Anderson, along with top officials from Mayor Lenny Curry's administration, unveiled the plan to a council panel reviewing next year's budget, calling it a crucial investment to fix two failing downtown bridges that have become a "dangerous and ugly reminder" of the city's neglected infrastructure.

"We could transform a showcase for blight into a showpiece for our city," Anderson said.

The council panel unanimously approved including the project in next year's budget. If the full council approves the plan, the city would begin work immediately and complete it within 30 months.

JSO: False bomb threat reported near Hemming Park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Reports of a bomb on the 100 block W. Monroe Street downtown near Hemming Park turned out to be false, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.


The suspicious package was found on the corner of Laura Street and W. Monroe Street.

Police said they got a call about a bomb threat Thursday night. After searching the area, they determined the threat wasn't credible.

The area has since reopened.

Your voice in redeveloping the Jacksonville Landing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The firm charged with redeveloping the Jacksonville Landing said they can't do it without input from the people that would use it.


Tuesday, in a 2 hour discussion, dozens of people from all across the city did just that.

"It's nice to see we can be involved too," said Lola Thompson. She's lived in Jacksonville all her life, and said being involved will help with the success.

"It's very important to keep this and revitalize it," she said.

Some of the ideas tossed around Tuesday include a movie theater, more parking, local restaurants, even a floating amphitheater on the St. Johns River.