Thursday, July 26, 2007

Budget cuts, How can we afford to fix anything let alone Friendship Fountain?

In view of the major cuts being required as a result of the Property Tax changes and the looming crises we are facing in the condition of the North and South Bank Riverwalks how could we possibly expect the City to come up with money for repairs for Friendship Fountain? (Not to mention the apparent desire by the current Administration to demolish the Fountain)

I think it is time for everyone to step up and take a little bit of ownership.

The City of Jacksonville needs to realize that any Multi Million dollar revamping of Friendship Fountain is not only not feasible but would be fiscally irresponsible (assuming they understand that term when it comes to Pet projects) and to go back to the original plan and estimate for Repairs so that the Fountain could once again be a Visual Center Point of our Great City.

Now I understand that $400,000.00 (which was the estimate 2 years ago) probably has risen but if the City would get a new, solid and bare bones repair estimate and present that as the Cost to restore Friendship Fountain. Maybe we, YES I said WE, as in the Citizens and Businesses of Jacksonville, could raise the money required.

I propose that a Private Business, Entity, Individual or Group, start a "Restore Friendship Fountain Fund" that anyone, individual, business, group, school or school class, could contribute to. With 100% of the Money donated being put towards the Restoration of Friendship Fountain.

Obviously this does depend on the City Officials to obtain a realistic estimate, for Restoration, not renovation (Lets face it folks right now there is no way that a Renovation could be afforded let alone considered), once the amount is raised it is paid directly to the Contractor the City chose and obtained the estimate from.

Hey you never know but maybe, just maybe, this "Restore Friendship Fountain Fund" could become "The Citizens for Jacksonville Parks Restoration Fund" and help in some of the other areas that we have already heard some discussion about or will in the coming year... I am afraid the bad news we have already heard regarding Parks, Parks Maintenance, and the North and South Riverwalks is just the beginning...

Why don't I start such a Fund? Simply put I do not have the necessary knowledge to administer such an endeavor but I sure would contribute Cold Hard Cash to it, not much, $50.00 maybe another $50.00, but if 1000's were to donate a few bucks the fund would grow rapidly and then get some businesses involved and School Groups before you know it we would have the money needed to Restore Friendship Fountain.

Got a better idea? Know an Individual or Entity that would take on this Task?

Ok that is my take, what is yours?


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July 2007

On this 231st Anniversary of the United States, and my 7th Wedding Anniversary ;), I want to wish everyone a very Happy and Safe Holiday.

While I won't be going downtown this year for the 4th for those of you who will be one of the best spots to view the City of Jacksonville fireworks is from The Fountain and hopefully they will at least have the outer ring running.

It is also a good time to remember how magnificent The Fountain can be when all rings are running and with a new term of office for our Mayor don't forget to write, call and just generally BUG the Mayor and your City Council members to get moving on restoring Friendship Fountain.

$400,000.00 is a lot of money but pales in comparison with many of the other "Projects" currently draining our city coffers and this one is something that everyone in the City can see, and enjoy, not to mention Visitors to our Great City and those moments when we get national Exposure on TV.

Help Save Our Fountain!

With that I will leave you with a shot of our Front Yard on the westside decked out for the 4th of July!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mayor wants to spend $454 Million for Courthouse!

The Mayor doesn't want to spend $400,000.00 to repair the fountain, which would probably allow it to run for years without anything other then the normal maintenance you would expect but he wants to spend $454 Million for a Courthouse that he felt was too expensive at $300 Million in 2004...

Wow getting reelected sure changed his perspective and our costs...

TV4 has a survey on their News Front Page:

Let your voice be heard.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Friendship Fountain On Hold again?

In this Morning's Times-Union...

Downtown Vision: What's the Big Idea?

So after waiting for almost a year we apparently get to wait longer. That repair estimate of $400,000.00 starts looking like a better and better choice everyday, at least we would have a fully functioning Fountain...


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Is anyone out there?

I received the following email from today...

" Hi! My name is Julius Dargan and I'm with 10best, Inc. We provide free online travel guides at our website,, and we list the Friendship Park Fountain in our Jacksonville database. I am curious as to the status of the fountain - from looking at your website, it appears as though the fountain's days may be numbered. While I hope that is not the case, I would like your honest opinion concerning whether or not the fountain will ever be returned to its original glory, as I would not want to steer my clients towards an attraction that is no longer there. Your response will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your time."

I wrote back the following...

"Hello Julius,

At this time it would be hard to say what the ultimate conclusion that
will be reached however there are forces at work to preserve
Friendship Fountain and restore it to full function.

The way many see this is the Mayor's office may be the only ones that
are pushing for it's demolition and some speculation that there may be
ulterior motives in moving Kid's Park to the present location of the
Fountain to free that land up for commercial development.

As the Mayor's office has not spoken a word on the subject since Oct
of last year my fear is that they are hoping that by doing nothing
long enough the infrastructure of the Fountain itself will start
failing more and reinforce their stand that it would be cost
prohibitive to restore.

However others in support of the Fountain have spoken recently and at
least one City council member strongly indicated that they would only
support the restoration of Friendship Fountain so I have not lost hope
but there doesn't seem to be any quick resolution of this in sight...

Thanks for the inquiry and I wish i could provide more substance
however since this came to light the Communication to me from the
Mayor's office has been one sided, I write, and they ignore...

If I may have permission I would certainly like to make public your
communication and concern as well as link to your site's mention of
Friendship Fountain...

Thanks for your interest,

Then Julius wrote back with this...

You are certainly welcome to use my comments in any respect, as well as provide a link to our site if you so choose. I must inform you, however, that as of now it will be up to the judgement of an editor here at 10best as to whether or not the fountain will remain on our website. Good luck with your ongoing efforts to restore this landmark.

Julius Dargan"

One of the Top Ten sightseeing recommendations according to and here we are just waiting and wondering while we get nothing from the Mayor's office... Just sad :(

Oh by the way in the Met Jax Post I mentioned in my last post continues to grow with the majority seemingly wanting FriendShip Fountain restored...

Make your voice heard call and write your City Council Member and the Mayor's office...


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Interesting MetJax Thread regarding Friendship Fountain

I cam across this today and I am extremely pleased to see MetJax keeping the Fountain issue in the forefront...

I am especially pleased with this quote from Suzanne Jenkins, City CouncilWoman...

My understanding is $75,000.00 dollars is needed to replace the pump that governs the large fountain spray in the middle. I would like to see that happen now, while the rest of the park is being planned and reworked.

Please visit the below link for the full Thread and postings...