The St. Petersburg City Council is set to resume regular Council meetings virtually, via Zoom, beginning April 16.
On the agenda for the Council’s first meeting back will be the first reading of three ordinances related to Covid-19 emergency relief funding. Through the ordinances, Mayor Rick Kriseman’s administration seeks to mobilize three tax increment financing (TIF) districts, known as community revitalization areas (or CRAs) to support relief programs like the Fighting Chance Fund, announced last week by Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin.
The Fighting Chance Fund will award $5,000 grants to restaurants, bars, retail and service-based businesses in St. Petersburg that are owned by city residents and employ 25 or fewer people, as well as $500 grants to their employees.
If passed, the ordinances would amend the adopted plans of the South St. Petersburg CRA, Intown CRA and Intown West CRA, originally established to reduce blight and redevelop key areas of the city, to mobilize funds for emergency relief programs. It would also require that the city develop operating guidelines for the use of TIF funds, and that those guidelines be approved by the Mayor and City Council before any funding expenditures.