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June Ates Arena impact on county

SANTA ROSA COUNTY  --  It was years in the making.
And the new June Ates Arena in Santa Rosa County is thriving.
It's hosted several events since it opened four months ago and many more are on the schedule.

What the arena means to the community.
This is the new arena.
 Bob Cole- Santa Rosa County Commissioner, District 2: "It's fantastic. It's a long dream for the citizens."

The June Ates Arena opened in December and it's staying busy.
This week, it's hosting the Santa Rosa County Fair for the first time.

David Phillips-Resident: "It feels proud. We've been wanting this for 10 years."

The more than one-million dollar facility that was paid for with District two recreational funds, is set to host a horse, rabbit show and --  in May.

Robyn Enfinger- Agriculture teacher, Milton High School: "To know that it was a facility for the community and for my students who come out here and work with hardly nothing to have this, I am very happy for them."

But the arena isn't just for entertainment and recreation. It can be used in emergencies, too.
Bob Cole- Santa Rosa County Commissioner, District 2: "Now we can move semi trucks inside, unload them and distribute water ice and MRE's".

And perhaps most important, people who live here say that their money was spent well on the arena. 

Robyn Enfinger- Agriculture teacher, Milton High School: "I am proud to see that I have a tangible building here."

It's a place that represents Santa Rosa County and East Milton. And people who live here say they look forward to the facility meeting the need of the growing but still very much agriculturally based population.