Joined by Councilmen Tom Didier and Russ Jehl, City Councilman John Crawford shared support for the Electric Works project Wednesday while also saying he wouldn’t introduce a funding measure as requested by Mayor Tom Henry.
One week earlier, Henry faced a NewsChannel 15 crew with his updated views on the massive project that would transform the old General Electric campus on Broadway. The mayor reiterated support for the project while sharing concerns about funding.
The city is being asked to invest $65 million into the project, but the mayor said he would commit $50 if he knows when and how the money will be used.
In that press conference, Henry called on John Crawford to introduce a measure to city council to approve $400,000 to $500,000 for legal fees involved in the project.
On Wednesday, Crawford said he would not introduce that measure. He said it has not been a step in the funding of any other redevelopment project, like Parkview Field, North River and The Landing.
Crawford called himself an “ardent” supporter of the project and said the project “needs to move along now.” He claimed the request by the mayor would only slow down the process
The mayor’s office then shared a statement with NewsChannel 15 clarifying Henry’s request. It says in part:
“The $400,000-$500,000 that will be needed for the necessary legal, financial and logistical work associated with Electric Works will need to be approved by City Council because those dollars are not part of the 2018 budget approved by City Council. Moving forward, we’re hopeful a collaborative approach will help ensure the expenditure request receives a full vetting and vote by City Council.”
NewsChannel 15 also received a letter the mayor sent to Crawford Tuesday requesting a meeting to discuss the funding measure. You can view that here.