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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Nov. 12, 202001:09 PM EST

Hazouri cancels standing committee meetings citing COVID-19 concerns

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The City Council president said the group will meet Nov. 19 in person and online about Lot J.

City Council President Tommy Hazouri canceled the Council standing committee meetings Nov. 16 and 17 because of “the health and safety concerns of COVID-19.”

The Committee of the Whole will meet about Lot J as scheduled Nov. 19 in-person and online, according to a Nov. 12 memo from Hazouri to Council members.

On Nov. 9, Hazouri canceled the Nov. 10 Council meeting after District 4 member Scott Wilson tested positive for COVID-19. 

Wilson, 50, said Nov. 9 he would quarantine for 14 days.

Hazouri’s memo said legislation on the agenda for consideration Nov. 10 will be presented at the next meeting Nov. 24.

Deferred legislation will be carried forward to the next cycle of committee meetings the week of Nov. 30.

Hazouri’s memo said plexiglass will arrive Nov. 16 for immediate installation in Council chambers at City Hall.

The standing committees are Finance; Rules; Land Use and Zoning; Transportation, Energy and Utilities; and Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety.

Wilson said Nov. 9 in a phone interview that he was tested for coronavirus Nov. 6, a day after a special meeting at City Hall brought all 19 Council members, representatives from Mayor Lenny Curry’s office and the Jacksonville Jaguars executive staff to Council chambers for a public hearing on the proposed $450 million Lot J development deal. 

The Lot J project is a joint venture of the city, Jaguars affiliate Gecko Investments and The Cordish Companies of Baltimore.

Curry’s administration wants Council to authorize borrowing $208.3 million of the city’s $218 million proposed investment in the Lot J project, which comprises offices, apartments, a hotel, retail and entertainment venues.

Hazouri later updated the Lot L legislation and timeline.

There will be a Committee of the Whole meeting 5-8 p.m. Nov. 19.

The public hearing for the bill, 2020-0648, will be at the regular Council meeting Nov. 24.

An additional Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 3.

Hazouri's memo said if members are prepared to vote on the legislation Dec. 3, the committee will make its recommendation in the form of a committee report to the full Council for the Dec. 8 Council meeting.

Hazouri told members they can start the amendment process at the Nov. 19 meeting and to work with the Office of General Counsel if they want assistance with amendments to the Lot J legislation.

Amendments can be shared during the Committee of the Whole meetings Nov. 19 or Dec. 3.

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