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Amphitheater Put On Hold

Officials scrounging up more money

INDEPENDENCE -- Construction on the $1.4 million amphitheater at Riverview Park in Independence will be put on hold until city officials can come up with the cash needed to complete the the third and final phase of the project.

City Manager Greg Ellis said the city needs roughly $900,000 to build the terraced retaining walls for seating, courtyard and stage pad in the bowl section of the amphitheater.

Contractors finished the entry way on the upper section of the park off Main Street earlier this month, and did a final walk-through and inspection June 23.

City officials knew during the middle of 2002 that even with funding from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and system development charges that there wouldn't be enough money to finish the whole amphitheater.

"We wanted to do the entire project at once," he said "but we saw the cost estimate, and decided to bid on work for the first portion."

"There just wasn't enough time to get out all the grant requests back then," he also said. "Realistically, we knew that it probably wouldn't be finished this year."

Ellis said the city would need to come up with at least 25 percent in matching funds on the $900,000 estimate to woo private foundations into ponying up the remaining costs.

The city has already received one grant for $6,300 from the Portland-based Kinsman Foundation for initial earth work of the third phase, which could be finished by next summer.

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