Petersburg has accepted a $5 million challenge from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The billionaire is using his personal fortune to bankroll a competition, involving 1300 mayors from across the country, including Petersburg. The goal is to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges to improve city life.
NBC12 took to the streets of Petersburg and asked — what's your $5 million idea for the competition?
Responses ranged from creating a bold plan to fight poverty to making the city prettier.
"More infrastructure — pave the streets and alleyways," said resident Robert Bailey.
"I think they need more jobs to help the economy," added Wayne Robinson.
"Education around financial stability," explained C.B. Sinclaire.
"Beautification of the city," said business owner Charlie Rawlings.
NBC12 posed the same question to Petersburg Mayor, Brian Moore.
"We have several ideas. I'm not going to disclose them because I have five million reasons not to tell," said Moore.
The challenge is to identify a need in your city, solve the problem and share your knowledge so other cities and citizens may benefit.
"I think it's a way of looking outside the standard way of doing business," Moore added.
Moore says he's working with city leaders, citizens, and business owners to come up with a winning concept.
"It won't just be a city idea. There will be different components, like a public/private partnership," Moore explained.
Moore isn't revealing much about the city's ideas out of fear of tipping off the competition.
Folks in Petersburg say they hope the city's grand idea will lead to the grand prize.
Outside of the top prize, four additional cities will win a million dollars to implement their idea.
Right now, it's unclear how many of the 1300 mayors invited to participate have accepted the challenge.
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