January 10, 2013 – Capping a raucous eight-hour-plus meeting, the Irvine City Council early Wednesday voted to overhaul the oversight and spending on the beleaguered Orange County Great Park while authorizing an audit of the more than $220 million that so far has been spent on the ambitious project. “We need to stop talking about building a Great Park and actually start building a Great Park,” council member Jeff Lalloway said. The actions mark a significant turning point in the decade-long effort to turn the former El Toro Marine base into a 1,447-acre municipal park with man-made canyons, rivers, forests and gardens that planners hoped would rival New York’s Central Park. The city hoped to finish and maintain the park for years to come with $1.4 billion in state redevelopment funds.
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