North Port, Florida- Warm Mineral Springs in North Port is more than a tourist attraction -- it's a geological and archaeological site, and some say the spring water heals.
It's also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been closed since July first.
About 50 protesters appeared before North Port City Hall hoping to change some commissioners' minds and reopen Warm Mineral Springs.
"You are killing the city killing business here," one resident told commissioners.
Several residents said they moved to North Port because of the "lake" as many call it.
The only warm mineral springs in Florida attracts many Europeans and Canadians. Sarasota County and the City of North Port bought the springs in 2010 for $5.5 million and have not been able to agree on a plan to keep it open and profitable. North Port residents say they have an idea...open the springs for swimming only while city and county leaders figure out a long term plan.
City leaders estimate the cost to reopen for swimming only between $700,000 and $1 million a year- an idea tossed around before and rejected, at least until Monday.
North Port City Commissioners have decided to draft a letter to the county suggesting they continue looking for a long term plan with a short term option.
"The blame is ours- both teams [city and county] together. It's been our fault the springs isn't open. [They] should have been open 3 years ago."
Mayor Blucher said there's been a lot of finger pointing between city and county leaders during negotiations due to a lack of trust.
10 News asked Mayor Blucher how they can repair the trust between city and county commissioners.
"We do the right thing, talk clearly and stop pointing fingers on both sides," said Mayor Blucher. He added that if both sides can't work together, the stakes are high. "The real losers here aren't the county. It's the City of North Port."
Mary Shatovich lives in North Port and said there should be one local government involved, not two.
"Sarasota county commissioners should take over Warm Mineral Springs. These people don't know what they are doing."
If both North Port and Sarasota County Commissioners agree to re-open Warm Mineral Springs for swimming only while a long term solution is finalized, it won't be happening anytime soon. The process could take four to six months.
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