Taxes To Pay Part Of Lake Eola Fountain Fix

WFTV.com

The Lake Eola fountain, once the centerpiece for downtown Orlando, is still broken. The city is still trying to figure out if it can get an insurance company to pay for it.

Eyewitness News learned that at least part of it will cost taxpayers.

“The first thing I noticed when we walked around was the dead fountain,” Orange County resident Sharon Minor said.

Four months ago, a bolt of lightning zapped the water flow from the Lake Eola fountain and with it went an iconic image of the city.

“It’s really ugly now,” Sharon said.

Orlando city leaders said it’ll cost between $700,000 and $2.3 million to fix the fountain and had said all along insurance will pick up the brunt of it, but the city can’t count on that.

“We’re waiting for the insurance adjusters to finish their work to see how much we can get from them,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

One policy covers $1 million with half of that as a deductible and the other covers up to $1.5 million with a $1,000 deductible.

“I don’t want to speculate what the insurance adjusters will come back with,” Dyer said. “If we need to supplement it from additional city capital we’ll do that.”

The city will pay $32,000 for a report to solicit bids for the engineering firm that will repair the fountain and that funding will come taxpayers.

“It’s an international destination and that’s a signature of the city, fix it,” resident William Minor said.

Some residents don’t want their tax money pumped into things they won’t use like the new arena. Instead, they think it should be spent on something everyone can enjoy.

Nevertheless, the city will fix it and spend what it needs to get the icon working again. The decrepit facade of the fountain will most likely get repaired, as well.

There have been a number of independent efforts in the past several months to raise money to fix the fountain, but city officials haven’t said how much they’ve raised.

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Tom Tillison

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