NORTH PORT — City Commissioners approved a final concept plan for the Warm Mineral Springs area Tuesday evening.

Voting in a marathon nine-hour meeting, the panel approved the more than $4.5 million plan in a 4-1 vote for the 61-acre site.

The plan approved Tuesday had a total of 21 major changes from the initial master plan proposed in early 2018.

In addition to the renovation of the main building and the diorama, the new plan includes utility improvements, expansion of sewer and water lines in the area, an observation tower, new restrooms, light retail, a boardwalk crossing and a history and an education center on the site.

“I think this plan is just what the area needs,” commissioner Jill Luke said. “It will make the Springs a great attribute to the community.”

However, Commissioner Vanessa Carusone personally nixed the ideas.

“I oppose the plan,” she said. “We are under-utilizing this site in many ways and are not thinking outside the box. So I voted no. Perhaps some future commission will have the insight to make this site what it can be.”

The approval of the plan will lead to prioritizing the work in the project and seeking funding for the plan.

Warm Mineral Springs is a natural spring surrounded by a city park. The water is 85 degrees throughout the year and is said to have one of the highest mineral counts in the United States for a springs. It has been the target of improvement concepts for years.

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