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?