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$869,000 to go for St. Pete pier planning

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ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

No matter where you stand on the pier replacement project in St. Petersburg, your days of being able to visit the current pier, are at 15 and counting.

On August 27th, voters will likely go to the polls to decide if the project known as "The Lens" should be scrapped.

To pay for pier engineering, permits, wind testing and other expenses, city council members were asked to approve $1.5 million dollars in spending.

People dressed in red shirts in the audience spoke against the Lens. "The giant step is one that we really need. We need to stop the Lens," said an unidentified man.

Many "Lens" supporters wore blue shirts with a slogan, "make lens not war."

"Your vote today should show confidence in this pier, the new pier that you have already approved, the pier that I know that you are behind and the pier that I know you want for our city," said a man who supports "The Lens."

Even though "The Lens" may never be built, council approved about half the requested payment.

"We still need to continue to move the ball forward and gain all of this information that's critical in the construction of a pier. Because I will not be one ever in favor of not having a pier," said Mayor Bill Foster.

St. Petersburg City Council must now lay out plans for voters to decide on "The Lens."

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