Collier County, Fla., - Plans for the $15 million Baker Park in Naples are moving forward. On Wednesday, about one hundred people packed city council chambers, outraged over the possibility that certain elements would be cut. The worry came as officials struggled to keep the plans within the budget.
"They're backing off thinking everything is too expensive and some people have questioned certain items," said Susan Earl.
Items that include kayaking, a carousel, a children's splash area and a 40-foot embankment that would give views of Gordon River.
"The kids went crazy with the idea that we would have a hill in Naples since its so flat here," said Earl.
Earl is part of a volunteer group that supports the park and wants those fun elements to stay in the plan.
"I think donors might drop out if things don't go forward," said Earl.
The park is already $2.2 million short of the proposed $15 million budget. Some council members are concerned about having enough money to build those elements and maintain them in the future.
"They have to look at this thing step by step, not jump to a final plan," said park supporter Peter Duggan.
The council debated for about four hours and voted 5 to 2 to hire an engineer to find out how much the park will cost. It could take 18 months for that report. The council also capped the amount of tax dollars they'll use for the project at $7.5 million. That amount will be enough money for the basics, like walkways. It also leaves the door open for more private donations for those special elements.
"They now realize that you have to look at it from a business standpoint," said Duggan.