MARCO ISLAND, Fla - It's your money and some on Marco Island want to see $4.2 million spent on a new community center and indoor gymnasium, but some say that price tag is too big to swallow.
The current Mackle Park Community Center was built in 1987. Park staff say they can no longer meet the growing demand for events and programs. The Marco Magic cheerleading squad rents out the community centers only room 8 to 10 hours a week.
"A lot of time we get pushed out of the room to practice and that leaves us practicing on a basketball court," says Lyndsi Koszo.
Monday night, the team skipped practice and instead spent their time urging the Marco Island City Council a new facility is needed. "We're stuck right now. We're at a plateau where we need to excel them but we don't have the proper facility like everyone else in the state of Florida has," says Koszo.
The current building is 8,000 square feet, the monthly calendar is booked with more than 80 events, classes and programs and park staff say rebuilding the facility isn't feasible.
"They don't have a dime towards this building," says Richard McInnis. McInnis and council members brought up the city's major financial issues and debt and questioned the $4.2 million price tag.
"I'm on a fixed income," says McInnis. "It guarantees the taxes will go up because there is no money to build a building."
Still, a room full of people told the council, despite the cost, it's the right thing to do for the community. "It's long long overdue and this is our chance," says Koszo.
Council and park staff will meet again later this month during a workshop to iron out the cost and expectations for rental income, staff, and utilities.