JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Property located in LaVilla could house the new Supervisor of Elections office, if a proposal by Councilman Clay Yarborough makes it through the City Council.
"I had no idea that the councilman was going to introduce legislation for an $8 million bill. This is new to me," said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.
That $8 million bill that would make a piece of land in LaVilla the new site for the Duval Supervisor of Elections office.
Yarborough's proposal suggests combining the two current Supervisor of Elections offices: the downtown office on Monroe Street, and the Elections Center located in the Gateway Town Center on the Northside.
"We could take all of that money that we currently spend on Gateway every year, which is over $600,000, and put that toward a new building," Yarborough said.
The city currently rents the Gateway location for more than $50,000 a month, according to a study released two weeks ago by Mayor Brown.
"I can't imagine why all the sudden he would want to introduce a bill that would spend $8 million," Brown said.
With the given numbers, $8 million is about 12 to 13 years worth of rent at the current Gateway location. That's money Yarborough belives could be better used in a long-term building on the piece of land in LaVilla.
The Mayor's Office has proposed using assets the city already owns, such as the Yates building located Downtown.
But Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland is concerned that the location may not fit their needs, saying the Yates Building is not one story and does not have a loading dock or freight elevator.
"I don't see how it will work," said Holland. "I mean to put a warehouse without a loading dock, without a freight elevator, no way to get the equipment we need upstairs. But I want to see what their proposal is."
Holland said it will come down to weighing the cost of a new building against the current lease.
Whatever is done, all three men agree they want a location that is accessible to voters and that taxpayer money is spent wisely.