On Friday, August 20, 2004, at 2:00 p.m., Jacksonville City Council Members Jerry Holland, District 3; Glorious Johnson, At-Large, Group 5; and Lake Ray, District 1, held a press conference to introduce proposed legislation that will provide alternate plans to limit the cost of the Courthouse project to $232 million. Additionally, this bill will require that the Courthouse project not exceed the original $190 million funding approved by Jacksonville voters as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan.
'We do want the Courthouse to be the impressive, state-of-the-art structure we all saw in the plans and renderings provided by the design firms selected to compete. We also want the proper security measures taken to assure that citizens and staff in the Courthouse will be safe,' Ray said. 'However, we want it built for the amount that was promised in the bid. That is only fair!'
'We owe it to the taxpayers to keep the costs down and deliver a courthouse that will serve the needs of the community for years to come.' Holland said. 'We must explore the benefits of a design build concept because it secures the courthouse at a fixed cost. This could in turn save the taxpayers $30-$40 million.'
Johnson summed it up as she added, 'It is time to make responsible decisions. Fix it – straighten it out – get the job done!'