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City seeks state funds for park

Mayor Dick Greco's administration moved Thursday to get state funding to buy 2{ acres for a new park in downtown Tampa on the Garrison Channel.

The city hopes to purchase the land next to the Ice Palace for $8-million, or $75 per square foot, and convert it into a park.

Buying the tract would protect the waterfront near the Ice Palace from future development, said mayoral aide Ron Rotella. The acres would join with the existing Fort Brook Park on the waterfront.

City officials still must finalize a deal with the property owner to buy the land.

At the mayor's request, the City Council voted Thursday to seek funding under a state environmental land grant program. The city hopes to get $6-million in state money to help pay the $8-million purchase price.

City Council member Linda Saul-Sena applauded the decision. "If we were not purchasing this land now, I have no doubt it would be out of touch" later, she said.

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