|Published:||Aug 19, 2013 2:22 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 19, 2013 2:33 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - It's your money and Monday Lee County leaders may decide to shut down City of Palms Park to save it. The park has sat empty since the Boston Red Sox moved spring training to JetBlue Park.
Now leaders must decide if city of palms is worth the expense.
"The County Manager is doing what he's supposed to do, look for ways to us to save money at a time when we still have a $30 million deficit in our upcoming budget," said Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann.
The facility spends about a half million dollars in operation costs each year, but Lee County budget planners say it's time to stop spending your money.
"We've tried every way we know to rent the building out, we've had no takers. We've tried every kind of scheme, from swimming pools to baseball. Nothing seems to have attracted any kind of attention," he said.
Closing the park could save the county $450,000 a year but some say it's time to reinvest in the property.
"Soliciting the stadium to the world, for either spring training or baseball, sports-related facilities, music venues, but try to make it more of a permanent situation," said Councilman Mike Flanders.
Baseball fan and former park employee Willimena Cesar lives across the street and says she hopes the stadium stays open.
"The bigger the field the bigger the dreams. Because they're seeing people coming out like the Red Sox, coming from different places you know," she said.
Upgrading the park and the surround area would cost about $30 million, money the county says it just can't afford.
Councilman Flanders did send a letter to the Washington Nationals Ball Club, but now they are in talks with Osceola County and may open their spring training complex in Kissimmee, Fl.
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