Amphitheater project delays could cost taxpayers more money



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Delays in a major construction project could be costing Seminole County taxpayers big money.

Tens of thousands of dollars have already been invested in the plan to build the Magnolia Park amphitheater in Winter Springs.

Colorful renderings show the Magnolia Park amphitheater as a state-of-the-art music venue that sits between the town center and the Cross Seminole Trail that was supposed to be ready years ago.

There's nothing but a fountain and empty land.

"The money has been there for 10 years. We've been waiting to spend it," Winter Springs Mayor Charles Lacey said.

The city has been working on a land swap deal with the state that has now taken much longer than city officials expected.

The state owns less than half an acre right next to the Cross Seminole Trail. The city can't build on it until it acquires it and now that won't happen until next year.

The problem is bureaucratic red tape in Tallahassee, according to officials.

The schedule calls for several levels of state review that includes two reviews by the cabinet which officials said are hard to schedule.

There's a concern that the cost to build the venue will be a lot more than the $1.2 million budgeted 10 years ago.

It's no surprise to citizens Eyewitness News spoke to are cautiously optimistic they'll see the project happen anytime soon.

"I'm familiar with the state and the apparatus of government and how long it can be," said trail user Dave Gonzales.

Construction of the amphitheater is slated to be finished by March of 2015.