County Take Over of Silver Springs
Visitors call it a natural wonder. But now residents wonder who will operate the Silver Springs attraction in Marion County.
Silver Springs is state-owned but leased by Palace Entertainment. A new proposal is on the table calling for the County to manage the park- which some say has fallen into disrepair.
"If this is about running a park, I'm out," Commission Chair, Stan
McClain told TV20. "If this is about creating economic opportunity, I think I'm in."
The commissioner is at the vanguard of discussions, stating local vendors could set up shop within the park, possibly creating more jobs than the current number of park employees.
"We are not interested in creating county jobs, we are interested in entrepreneurship here," McClain said.
During a packed workshop Tuesday night, citizens raised questions varying from the environmental impact, the $6.4 million dollar investment, maintenance costs, and the future of the park's current employee's jobs. Another concern of residents' was the future of park's many animals, which would be moved to other facilities should the County take over.
But, the Commissioner said that it is still early in the game, with more research to be done before the benefits of a county take over are as clear as the springs.
To read the County's operational plan for Silver Springs, you can visit their website at Marioncountyfl.org.
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