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Multi-million dollar decision on Florence council’s plate

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FLORENCE, Ala. – The Florence City Council is in the midst of a deep debate right now. How far are they willing to go with a proposed tennis complex? With a potential vote scheduled for Tuesday, they sat around the table Friday to discuss ideas.

A decision worth millions of dollars is on the table. An ad-hoc committee of community members has suggested a 31-court tennis complex for Veterans Park.

Right now council members are wading through all the variables; one suggested Friday is cutting down on the number of courts.

Councilman David Bradley, District 3

“We have had some changes to the number of courts proposed to a new number and we are trying to see if that number will be feasible, or more feasible and more cost effective,” Councilman David Bradley explained.

As proposed, the price tag totals nearly $6.5 million, which includes moving four ball fields out of the park and to the Florence Sports-Complex.

Councilman Bradley wants to make sure the park sees a full renovation.

“Tennis is popular, but what is more popular is a great place for families to come and enjoy so everyone can have something to do; all the way from disc golf to just lounging around on an afternoon.”

A vote was tabled at the last city council meeting. It has already been placed on Tuesday night’s council agenda.

Bradley believes the project will lack the support as is to move forward.

“When you are talking about millions of dollars that are now off the table upon something new; we need to figure out the correct numbers that we are going to be looking at instead of just going out there and voting on it as is.”

Also on the upcoming council agenda, a proposal to increase the lodging tax for hotels in the city of Florence. The tax would help pay for the tennis complex.