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Concessions Cash Allowed To Count Toward Friends Of Hemming Park Fundraising

Hemming Park
Saphara Harrell

Pending Mayor Lenny Curry’s signature, the nonprofit that runs Hemming Park can soon use $150,000 from the city, which was withheld last month. The cash infusion is thanks to a bill the Jacksonville City Council passed Tuesday night.

The nonprofit Friends of Hemming Park is in a public-private partnership with the city of Jacksonville. The city contributes $1 million, and Friends of Hemming Park must raise a quarter-million in private contributions.

But last month the city didn’t pay its part because Hemming Park included concession sales revenue in its side of the contribution—something current city ordinance doesn’t allow.

But Councilman John Crescimbeni says allowing concession revenues was in the language of the first few drafts of the original bill approving the agreement.

“And when I voted on this last year, I thought it was in there. So in good conscience I don’t really think I can vote against it,” he said Tuesday.

The Council voted 18-to1 to clarify which revenue counts toward fundraising totals. If Curry signs the bill, Friends of Hemming Park can use concession fees, advertising fees and event-license fees in addition to private donations.


Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.