Artist JEFRE has an amazing project called "Rain" that he wants to share with the city of Kissimmee and the people that visit Lakefront Park, but the city has decided it just cannot afford the 1.2 to 2 million dollar price tag. Mayor Jim Swan was impressed with what he saw for artist renderings.
"It was really kind of a neat opportunity to put a new face or an iconic kind of facility down there at the lake front, and at the same time, it's a big ticket number."
It's as much building as it is sculpture. People would be able to go inside two separate areas shown in the artist renderings. Mayor Swan says it is more of a want than a need. We asked him straight up if "Rain" was something the city could afford?
"Today no. The city's budget has already been voted on, and established that there are no funds in the budget that I'm aware of that would allow us to do it."
Neither the city nor the artist are giving up hope on bringing rain to Lakefront Park. JEFRE was told Tuesday the city supports the idea, and they want him to try and raise the money. Mayor Jim Swan was happy to give him the fundraising endorsement.
"Bring it. Send money. We would love to do that facility or something very similar to what was originally proposed, but the dollars aren't there right now. If we can find a benefactor or several that could help, then maybe we would put their name on it. Maybe Disney would consider putting some money in? You gotta go ask them."
Lakefront Park in Kissimmee is going through a renovation that is costing more than 25 million dollars. Mayor Swan says when it is finished, he hopes it will be a rallying point for the community with weddings, birthday parties, bass fishing tournaments, and a sense of home.
"Most of the citizens that live here are kind of like me. They came from somewhere else, and in many cases home is somewhere else. They still look upon it as back home, not here, and if this is a major tool to be used to bring the community together then I think we've been very successful."
So far the renovations include a playground, fishing pier, concession stand, wedding lawn and community house. Eventually, a splash pad, boardwalk, bait shop, and additional playground will be added.