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Politics

Jax City Council VP Wants To Buy Haverty-Godbold Building

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Kevin Meerschaert
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Jacksonville City Council Vice-President Bill Gulliford says the city should dip into into the city’s banking fund to buy the Haverty-Godbold Building.

The building at the corner of Laura Street and Duval Street is owned by the Police and Fire Pension Board. The city rents the building to house the Public Defenders office.

The city can buy the property for $14 million in May - but if it doesn’t, it doesn't have another chance to purchase until 2017, and the cost would increase by about $1.5 million.

Gulliford says buying the Haverty-Godbold Building now will save money in the long run.

"It's not a good deal for the city" he says. "I don't like going to the banking fund to borrow, but it replaces expensive debt with very inexpensive debt."  

Gulliford introduced an ordinance this week to purchase the building. City Council Auditor Kirk Sherman has long been a proponent of the move.

The Banking fund is usually used for much smaller purchases like cars and equipment, but Sherman says getting out of the lease now is the right move.