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Council Watch

Council watch

Billy Manes pays attention to city government so you don't have to

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It would be one of those languorous yawns of an agenda this week; the flims and flams of normal city governance could scarcely be bothered to pry open their eyes for the regularity of it all. Things you should know: Mayor Buddy Dyer was honored with something called a "Patriot Award," as he "adamantly believes in freedom and patriotism" because he's all about the National Reserve or something; we're getting some more expensive water pumps and defibrillators (again); oh, and a little road in Touristan called "Touchstone Drive" will soon bear the dubious honor of being called "Fun Spot Way." It's huge.

The city approves an extension of a feasibility study and purchase option agreement between itself and SED Development LLC.
Translation: Remember two years ago when everybody got all hot and culturally bothered about the idea that the Orlando Magic's development arm, SED Development, was considering tearing down the parking garage across the street from the (sorta) new Amway Center and replacing said garage with an "entertainment-sports complex" that could cost the Magic a cool $100 million? Most of us thought the idea – which would displace numerous private African-American-owned businesses that the city has been helping with rent, because Church Street was torn up for so long – had just disappeared into thin air like so many Magic ticket sales. Last September, the Magic kicked the can down the calendar for four months with a city-approved extension on the deal; the Magic already kited a $100,000 check for the option of purchasing the property, with $50,000 of that to be refunded if they backed out. Now that those four months have passed, the Magic will get another 60 days to rub its thinking basketballs together and come up with a presentation on or before March 28. The city assures us that this is typical for a project this size, so don't worry. Besides, we already bought them a $480 million arena, so they owe us. In related news, Church Street will soon be a pile of rubble again!

The city approves a resolution establishing a new minimum rate for luxury passenger vehicles.
Translation: For nearly two decades the rich and fabulous living in or visiting Orlando were treated to at least one comfort they could always depend upon: a $25-per-hour minimum fare for transport in the limousine luxury to which they'd grown accustomed. Now, citing the fact that 1994 rates don't really match the 2013 high life, the city will bump that rate up to $35. Get ready for some screams that only rich people can hear.

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