WAITE PARK -- The brand new Ledge Amphitheater in Waite Park has barely lost its shine and city leaders are already asking state lawmakers for bonding money to make improvements.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says the $8 million they are asking for is for a phase II, which was always part of the plan.

She says the money would be used to buy some adjacent property for parking. They are leasing that land right now.

They also want to add a west plaza area with more restrooms and a concession stand and possibly an overlook over the quarry on that side of the site.

Johnson says the city also wants to be able to utilize the amenity year-round which means installing heating and air in the concession stands and adding a catering kitchen.

She says she's hoping the project has a leg up on getting more dollars because lawmakers can actually see it.

I think one of the advantages that we have is that we've actually had the opportunity to have the Senate Bonding Committee tour this facility after it was constructed.

Johnson says because there is no other facility like this in the state, she's hoping for more state investment as well. It is expected to have an $8 million to $10 million economic impact annually on the St. Cloud metro area.

The city has spent over $12 million of its own money on the project, so it has already met the required match for state bonding money if they would be granted any additional dollars.

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Johnson says so far ticket sales have been good for the national acts that have been announced for this summer with the Bonnie Raitt and Aaron Lewis concerts almost sold out. They are planning on 12 to 15 national acts this summer.


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