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St. Pete will purchase the Carter G. Woodson Museum

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The City of St. Pete will purchase the Carter G. Woodson Museum for $663,000. St. Pete City Council approved the purchase price during its meeting Thursday.

The issue came up after the St. Petersburg Housing Authority announced its decision to sell the property and dissolve itself as the museum’s landlord in order to shore up funds for other housing projects.

According to city staff, the selling price was vetted independently by the city through two separate appraisals that actually came in higher than what the housing authority was asking.

City Council member Karl Nurse proposed a resolution asking the St. Petersburg Housing Authority to set aside at least $100,000 of that for a home ownership program.

“They do have considerable reserves and the Pinellas County Housing Authority runs a home ownership program so this is not an unusual sort of thing,” Nurse said.

The only question he got from council came from Jim Kennedy, who simply wanted to know, “why only $100,000?”

Nurse asked the city’s legal team to take what he called a “chicken scratch” resolution written on legal paper and turn it into an actual resolution. City attorneys are expected to return that resolution by the end of its meeting and the measure seems likely to pass.

Nurse said he discussed the idea with Mayor Rick Kriseman and initially asked that the plan be a provision of a purchase contract, but in order to avoid a potential risk to the sale, Kriseman asked that it be a request, not a provision.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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