Thursday, May 26, 2016

Savannah City Council: SEDA/Film Office takeover proposal tabled for a month

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 4:34 PM

Not much fireworks at today's meeting of Savannah City Council, with perhaps the key development being the continuance until the June 23 meeting of the very controversial idea of transferring all City of Savannah Film Office functions except for permitting to the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA).

If passed, SEDA would have sole control over the entire City film management and promotions budget. 

The proposal was initially up for a vote today, but it was stated during the meeting that the Savannah Film Commission, a City-appointed oversight board, had only just heard the proposal and had a meeting to discuss it just last night.

There was also talk of a workshop/presentation to the Savannah Film Commission to explain the move.

The City maintains the move would "streamline" the process of working with state and regional entities. Opponents say SEDA doesn't have the institutional expertise or experience to deal with filmmakers. 

In other business, a special parking district was approved for the extreme West River Street area, the site of increased development in the wake of the Kessler/Plant Riverside hotel/ entertainment complex project. City officials say the district will relax rules requiring developers to provide parking spaces on a per project basis.

While the City is considering a large bond issue for a new parking garage at the Kessler hotel and another for Broughton/Bay streetscaping, this was only the first reading of those proposals and there was no discussion or debate. 

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