High Springs passes final vote for Priest Theatre purchase 

High Springs City Hall and sign
Photo by Seth Johnson

The High Springs City Commission voted to finalize its purchase of the Priest Theatre on Thursday, entering a contract with the property owners.  

A due diligence period will come before the buy, and the state grant funding for the purchase is already in the city’s bank account.  

The city commission plans to replace the roof and stabilize the building. Those actions will likely expend the $1.04 million in grant funding. After that, the city could sell the property or keep it and seek out more grants for restoration.  

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The commissioners decided to make an offer in January after receiving the state funding last year.  

The commissioners also voted 4-1, with Commissioner Wayne Bloodsworth in dissent, on its new alcohol special permits for Sundays. The city commission directed staff to create the permit ordinance in April, and Thursday’s vote is the first reading. The ordinance will return in June for a final vote.  

The special permits would allow businesses with an alcohol license to open on Sundays for city-wide events, like Pioneer Days, along with federal holidays. These permits could be granted by city staff.  

Businesses could also apply for permits on Sundays for other events. These would need to be voted on by the city commission.  

Commissioner Tristan Grunder pressed for the commission to put the issue on the November ballot. He said a vote would settle the issue permanently.  

“I think that’s the safest and most responsible way that we can get this issue solved and get it out of our faces and allow us to get on to other business,” Grunder said.  

However, his motion for the ballot options failed for lack of a second, like in April. 

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