Orange County commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to spend $5 million of county money to help Universal Orlando with their new theme park project.
The money in question will go toward moving a wastewater pipe that cuts through land that Universal plans to build out for their upcoming Epic Universe park, with Universal and the county splitting the costs. Universal will kick in between $13 and $14 million to relocate the pipe, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
An expenditure of this nature and size – while the county tries to come to grips with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic – justifiably raised more than a few eyebrows. But Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings deflected concerns, asserting during the meeting, "It’s a good deal for the county."
This is not the first time that Orange County has footed some of the bill for Epic Universe. Back in December, the Orange County Commission approved giving Universal $125 million for a road expansion project to extend Kirkman Road from Sand Lake Road, to allow for better park access.
Construction work on Epic Universe was paused at the end of April due to the coronavirus pandemic and its resulting drop in Orlando tourism revenue._
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