By Barbara Ann Kelley

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A group that wants to remodel not replace the old St Petersburg pier is taking signatures to force the issue on to the ballot in next election.

The group called agrees the pier is in need of an overhaul including replacing the pier’s deteriorating support beams. They insist that taxpayers money would be better spent on keeping the 36-year-old pier and giving it more modern look.

The group claims that if you gut the pier and add all new glass, wiring and plumbing that the build would end up being an all new structure and at the same time save millions of tax payers dollars.

The group’s plan was drawn up by a local architect. This plan they say would save all the small businesses that rent space within the pier. The new pier does not have room for these small shops. Keeping the existing pier they claim would save 450 jobs. says that all the repairs and remodeling could be done within the city’s existing $50 million budget for the pier.

According to a story in the Tampa Bay Times, the group claims they have collected close to 12,000 of the 15,648 signatures needed to force a referendum. St Petersburg residents who would like to add their names to the petition can do so by printing out papers found on the’s website.


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