Warm Mineral Springs Park remains closed due to Hurricane Ian damages

Warm Mineral Springs Park has remained closed since Hurricane Ian passed in September. The City of North Port is working to reopen as quickly as they can with many trying to come out to the park. 

With 85 degree water year round, Warm Mineral Springs draws visitors from across the world. People come to the area to soak in its mineral rich water.

"We know how important this park is for so many in our community for their quality of life, their health," said Laura Ansel, the marketing and partnership manager for the City of North Port.

MORE: Local environmental groups help clear waterways of Hurricane Ian debris

Damage from Hurricane Ian shut the site down.

"The water quality was looking good. We passed the test on that front, there was some debris in the water that our dive team was able to help remove," said Ansel.

There is a lot of work to be done on the building that make up the park. Water damage and the air quality of the buildings remains a concern for the city.

"There's far too [much] mold in there for any human, so we need to work on clearing that out," Ansel said. "The electrical has taken a hit as well so that needs to be restored."

READ: DeSantis says Florida will provide $25M for hurricane victims after FEMA denied state's aid request

North Port is exploring two possibilities as it works toward reopening – having the city run operations itself or doing a long term lease with a public-private partnership, which would foot the bill for renovations. 

Costs to fix the park are estimated at $18 million. The City of North Port has $9 million set aside, but would have to come up with additional funds.

As they work to reopen, they're looking at bringing in modular units to house operations.

"We will need to add some accessible sidewalks, we will need to run some electrical to that, and we will also need to bring in portable restroom units," said Ansel.

The City of North Port said they are working as quickly as they can to welcome guests back.

PREVIOUS: Tampa Bay Rays won’t go to Charlotte County spring training facility due to Hurricane Ian damages

"Our goal is to open as quickly and safely as we can so our visitors can get back to soaking in Warm Mineral Spring Park," said Ansel.

To learn more about the progress on Warm Mineral Springs Park, visit the City of North Port's webpage on Warm Mineral Springs Park.