The hotly debated issue of the Aaron Bessant Amphitheater finally found a conclusion Thursday at the Panama City Beach council meeting, but not before the council got heated over one Council Member's plans to table the issue.
With a vote forward from the council, the project would take the next steps towards breaking ground, but Councilwoman Strange pushed to halt the council's vote until a later date.
"I'm just saying that to delay it two more weeks will cost us money. It will delay our start date," protested Councilman John Reichard.
"I'm just expressing my right in wanting to table it," retorted Strange.
The Council seemed to call bluff on Strange, saying her move to table the issue came from personal dissatisfaction with the project.
The council has been discussing improvements to the current amphitheater for over a year now.
The plan is to expand, add bathrooms, and parking to accommodate a professional setting. The amphitheater project has settled on a guaranteed maximum price of a little under two and a half million dollars.
Ultimately, the project was voted on and, despite some minor drama among Council members, project leaders say they are happy to break ground in the near future.
"It has been an issue with some members of the council since we've been talking about it. Some people feel very strongly about that and especially council members that live close to it," said Mayor Gayle Oberst.
"We now have the project to a point where we can start building and things just happened and today we were given the final 4 to 1 vote to get the project moving," said Assistant City Manager (and newly appointed City Manager) Mario Gisbert.
Gisbert says they hope to have shovels in the ground within a month, but first the project will pass through a vote in the next Tourist Development Council meeting and the Bay County Commission meeting.