PELL CITY – The City Council approved an agreement with a local church, which will build a 300-seat amphitheater in Lakeside Park at no cost to the city.

“To me, it’s a win-win situation,” said Councilman Terry Templin.

The council approved an agreement with First United Methodist Church of Pell City, which will build the amphitheater.

The church currently holds religious services under the name of Chapel in the Pines, according to the agreement.

“FUMC, at its sole cost and expense, shall construct an open-air amphitheater pursuant to such plans and specifications as are approved by City,” the agreement states. “FUMC agrees to construct such facility in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the regulations of Alabama Power Company.”

Once the facility is completed, it becomes the property of the city, and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department can rent the facility out to the public.

“In consideration of FUMC’s donation of the facility to the city, the city agrees that as long as FUMC desires to hold its religious services at the facility and upon proper notice to the city, FUMC will have the exclusive use of the facility from 7 to 10 a.m. on each Sunday from May 1 to Sept. 30, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and from 5 to 10 a.m. on Easter Sunday each year for the sole purpose of conducting its religious serves for the general public,” the agreement states. “The rental due from FUMC to the city for the use of the facility during such times each year shall be consistent with the rental rate charged to the general public for rental of the facility.”

Once the amphitheater is constructed, the city is responsible for the periodic maintenance and repair of the facility.

The city has allowed Chapel in the Pines services to be held at Lakeside Park since May. The services were once held in the Pine Harbor community, on the shores of Logan Martin Lake.

City officials said workers will build the new amphitheater next to the water, close to where the city’s boat ramp is at Lakeside Park.

City officials said the amphitheater can be added onto or expanded.

Officials said the structure could be completed by Christmas, but construction will more likely be finished before Easter of next year.

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