Earlier this week the city commission in Key West voted to carry on with the construction of a four million dollar outdoor concert venue at Truman Waterfront. They had a public meeting at which half the audience supported the plan, the other half didn't and the remainder wasn't sure. That adds up to more than 100 percent of those in attendance and I think it's fair to say this latest storm in a Key West teacup has left a lot of residents unsure. The whole of the waterfront is now pretty much a construction zone and something like this should emerge by the Fall:
At the meeting city staff told the elected leaders that were they to shut down the project plans and closure would cost the city half a million dollars which seemed to decide the outcome. The paper had previously checked around the state and the Citizen found that similar venues elsewhere generate almost no income for their municpialities, a suggestion Mayor Cates found annoying, musing out loud about the perception that a park should pay for itself. That notion was put about by the Spottswoods the premier family that wanted to develop a profitable concern at Truman Waterfront and whose plans were scotched nit by the city but by the Navy who said a firm "No" to the idea of a marina generating money as part of the waterfront park. Ever since then this notion of a park-for-profit has hung in the air, an emanation left over from thedeseprate Spottswood development plan.
Which is not to say the park will be a wild and interesting open space as I might like. It will offer facilites and paths and order and control. That at least is the impression they give. Meanwhile we drive through corridors of construction fencing, like travelers passing through Checkpoint Charley in a divided Berlin. Rusty is always ready to inspect anything, such is his curiosity.
Either the amphitheater will be successful beyond anyone's wildest dreams in which case traffic and noise will flood the quality of life in Bahama Village,. Or it will sit idle most of the time and become a four million dollar monument to the Triumph of Hope.