NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Warm Mineral Springs Park will remain closed after damage from Hurricane Ian rendered the park unsafe for guests.

The City of North Port said a placard of condemnation was posted at the park following an inspection by a structural engineer and an electrician. The inspection determined that the park cannot meet the criteria to reopen safely.

“We know how passionate many of our patrons and residents are about the springs, but please, do not try to enter the facility or pass the safety fencing to get to the water,” Sandy Pfundheller, Director of North Port Parks and Recreation said. “In addition to damage sustained by the buildings, there is a risk of debris in the water. These hazards may not be visible from the surface.”

The North Port City Commission will review its contract with the private vendor who operates the park – National and State Park Concessions, Inc. – in a meeting on Oct. 25, due to the significant damage and extended closure.

The city said staff have continued to pursue a public-private partnership for the future development of the park and are continuing to work on a conceptual proposal with WMS Development Group, LLC, which was approved on Sept. 12. The plan includes recreational areas as well as a hotel, “destination residential” and a Native American history museum.

The City of North Port said Warm Mineral Springs Park must have the following in order to safely reopen:

  • Reliable power
  • A safe supply of drinking water
  • Windows, roofs and exterior walls that prevent severe water intrusion
  • Working air conditioning
  • Indoor air quality that has been assessed by an industrial hygienist
  • Water quality that has been assessed by State Certified (Florida Department of Health) contractor
  • Storm debris must be removed and stored in a secure location
  • Professional assessment of buildings that deem them safe to occupy

You can read more about the Warm Mineral Springs Park master plan here.