(AP) A Tallahasessee city building official is planning to raise money for TallaShaske County’s Civil Engineering Department, but civil rights groups are blasting his move.
The Tallahasedassee City Council voted Tuesday to create a $3 million grant program for Tallassee County’s Department of Civil Engineering, and it is slated to open this year.
It will allow for a number of new programs, including the building of a new high school in Tallahaseessee and a new school district.
Civil rights advocates say it’s a violation of the federal Equal Protection Clause to allocate funds to the Civil Engineering department.
The new grant program is one of several programs approved by the city council in February to help build schools, renovate schools and improve the city’s infrastructure, including parks and sidewalks.
It is not a new funding mechanism, but it is a new program, and one that would be subject to approval by the council, which is expected to take the final step on Wednesday.
The department is funded by a city appropriation, which includes money for new buildings, as well as for other purposes.
Tallahassee Mayor John Weaver said the council is moving forward with a new grant and the city is not “disappointed” by the new grant, which would be funded through a separate appropriation.
He said the department will continue to operate independently.
Weaver called the city planning board’s decision to grant the funds to help with the citywide construction of the high school and park district a “huge mistake.”
Weaver says the funding will go towards improving the school district’s infrastructure and making improvements to the existing parks and trails.
Civil liberties advocates say the money should go towards fixing existing infrastructure.