Published: Jun 21, 2011 9:39 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 21, 2011 7:13 PM EDT

Lee county will proceed with contract talks to build an aquatic center at City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers.    The county will negotiate with the National Swim Center Corp. of Austin, Tx.    Lee commissioners warn:  they will not put a dime of public money into the project.

"We need some use for the park, and the baseball world does not seem interested.  I have no other alternative," said Commission chair Frank Mann.

"I beleive this is way too risky for Lee Co. government," said commsr. Brian Bigelow.   He voted against going ahead;   all 4 of his colleagues voted to proceed with contract talks.

The swim center group has suggested building a nearly 20-million dollar aquatic center at the park.   The city council in Ft. Myers is urging the county to move ahead with talks, in hopes of finding a better use for the park, abandoned by the Boston Red Sox for spring training.  Lee Co. is building a new stadium for the Red Sox, on Daniels Parkway north of the international airport.