Town meets about proposed St. Johns County aquarium, museum

By Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 11 2014 12:40:10 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 11 2014 09:08:16 AM EDT
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -

A town hall meeting in Lincolnville Thursday night weighed the pros and cons of a proposed aquarium in St. Johns County.

Plans are to build a new aquarium on Riberia Point, which is south of the downtown St. Augustine district. The aquarium would be built entirely with private money.

A non-profit children's museum not associated with the aquarium is also planned on the same site.

Even though tax payer dollars are not being used, there are still some people who don't want the museum or aquarium built and said the area does not need the additions.

"These people are all about money (and) say it's going to get taxes up and go back in the neighborhood. We don't need all that in neighborhood, we don't need manicured lawns say like Palencia," said Lowell Beyer, who opposes the project.

"People concerned about traffic, I'm grateful for hard questions," said project creator Shawn Heister.

Hiester and his wife, Kathy, are behind the projects. They plan on spending $8 million of their own money to make the aquarium and museum a reality.

The Heisters told Channel 4 they'd like to see the 43,000-square-foot facility open by 2015.

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