ORLANDO, Fla. – City leaders decided Monday to postpone a vote on purchasing Pulse nightclub and turning it into a memorial for the 49 people killed during the June 12 massacre.
The city council was scheduled to vote Monday on whether to approve the purchase for $2.25 million, but instead decided to postpone the decision to Dec. 5.
The city council deferred the vote so it could have more time to study the processes other cities have taken following nationally significant tragedies and to develop a memorial process.
"Due to the significance of this site, the City believes it is appropriate to finalize the memorial process prior to purchasing Pulse," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's office said in a statement. "By deferring today’s agenda items we can bring forward the purchase of the Pulse property and memorial process at the same time."
A community-based committee will be established to oversee the memorial process.
Dyer said last week that even if the purchase goes through, the city will keep Pulse as-is for about a year while mourners from around the country visit to pay their respects.
Owner Barbara Poma told News 6 after the plan was announced that although it was a difficult decision, she realized turning the club into a memorial was ultimately the right move.
"Never could I have imagined that the building we built as Pulse Nightclub would not be a part of my daily life. Pulse was a huge part of my heart, my soul and my family," she said in a statement. "As difficult as it is for me to part with Pulse, this transaction ensures that what has become a sacred site will be properly memorialized for generations to come."
Originally, Poma said she planned to fix the damage and reopen the club.
The $2.25 million price tag is about $600,000 more than the property's appraised value. The money for the purchase would come from the city's land acquisition fund.