Mayor creates new St. Pete Pier task force - WFLA News Channel 8

Mayor creates new St. Pete Pier task force

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ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

The Pier is just an empty shell, but it's become a symbol of controversy and division in St. Petersburg.

Voters will decide whether to end the contract to build The Lens, in place of the inverted pyramid on August 27. Mayor Bill Foster created a new task force to put together a pier action plan for August 28.

"This issue has been divisive, we all recognize that but the common thread that goes to everyone up here, they love the city of St. Pete, they're passionate about the waterfront," Mayor Foster said. "Having no pier is not an option."

If voters kill The Lens, the 828 Alliance, as it's called, will have a process to start searching for a new design.

The group includes a marine scientist, supporters of the lens, as well as the head of the group who spear-headed the fight against the lens, Fred Whaley.

"It's a good result of our hard fight and it shows the city does want to move forward and does want to pull us together," said Whaley.

He would like to see whatever goes out there to be incorporated in a master plan for the waterfront. While people may all have different visions of the future pier, they all agree on one thing.

"What we don't want is what happened in 1967 is when the old pier came down and nothing was there for four or five years," said David Punzak with St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

The group will hold its first meeting in July.

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