Now, as supervisor chairman, Chuss still isn't happy about it.
"The money doesn't justify the use," Chuss said. "But these are the cards I've been dealt. Now we need to make sure our residents will get the best use out of it."
As of mid-March, the costs for the township's new amphitheater, which is expected to open this summer and could be completed by May, are continuing to rise, Chuss said.
The structure itself cost $250,000. On top of that is the $25,000 Forks has spent on architectural fees.
"The new amphitheater has been finalized other than some site work and punch list items," Chuss said.
Those items will push costs over $300,000. They include electrical work, determining whether to spend for permanent or temporary lighting, and renting restrooms.
The township also spent $49,000 on plans two years ago -- money, Chuss said, was thrown away because those plans were scrapped.
"I felt it was overkill," he said. "We could have done it for a lot cheaper. We could have gotten one of those prefabricated designs for a third of the cost."
Chuss said he voted against the amphitheater because of the cost, but also disliked the design and location, near the tennis courts and ball fields.
However, former supervisors C. David Howell and Lilly Gioia had kept the project alive, and with Supervisor David Billings had the majority vote.
“We all want an amphitheatre,” Billings had said, who was chairman at the time. “The argument is over the cost.”
Goia had argued that waiting to build it because the economy was tough now would only make the project more expeensive in the future, due to rising costs.
And, of course, the point of having an amphitheater is to get greater use from the parks and offer more services to residents. The new amphitheater, which sort of resembles a large outdoor tent, stands near the park's tennis courts behind the township municipal building on Sullivan Trail.
Township officials hope the amphitheater will draw residents for numerous shows and activities. Chuss said that a summer concert series is planned for the amphitheater with at least four shows on Wednesday evenings. The shows will be sponsored by Merchants Bank.
He said that two groups have already been booked, including a Doo Wop band.
Public Works Director Mark Roberts, speaking to area chamber of commerce members at Tuesday's "State of Forks Township" meeting, said the township's annual Community Days also will be focused around the amphitheater.
At the amphitheater site on Wednesday, construction workers dug around the structure and a plow moved dirt. Chuss said they are constructing a second stage area.
What do you think about the costs associated with building the amphitheater for the township? Leave a comment.