Published: Jun 16, 2010 1:57 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 15, 2010 3:08 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.-- Lee county commissioners have approved money to begin the turning of dirt at the site of the new spring training stadium for the Boston  Red Sox.    Kraft Construction will begin work around July 1 at the site off Daniels Parkway, east of I-75.

"This is a great day, it means we will begin the site work,  and begin to build the stadium.   It also means, jobs  for local people," said Commissioner  Ray Judah.

"We will hire people to install the utilities and the drain pipes.  We also will have to drain a small lake where the stadium will be.   And we will lay down some asphalt," said Bob Koenig of Kraft Construction, the contractor on the project.   The county will pay a maximum of 8-million, 345-thousand dollars, for this first phase of work, based on the vote by commissioners Tuesday.

Three of them voted yes.   Brian Bigelow voted no, saying the county should be getting money from the Red Sox to build a stadium.

Kraft will have to come back to the county board in the fall, to get more money to buy materials to actually build the stadium.  Koenig estimates, the project will employ up to 300 people on site for up to a year.

The stadium complex is supposed to open for baseball in the winter of 2012.   Koenig said meeting that deadline should not be a problem.