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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

7 Seas Aquarium submits first building plans to the city

The City of Temple has been waiting for 7 Seas Aquarium to submit a permit application and site plans for weeks. Friday they received the first-ever design plan.

TEMPLE, Texas — The City of Temple waited weeks for 7 Seas Aquarium to send them a building permit application and site plans for the aquarium's planned location in the Temple Mall. 

Since the end of February, 7 Seas Aquarium claimed to have brought on Law Offices of Damon A. Goff and Belton Engineering Inc.  All three parties had a meeting with the City of Temple Monday. 

Temple received documents from the business but doesn't know what to do with them. 

"We aren't exactly sure what they are and will be asking that during our next on site meeting," Temple Spokeswoman Laurie Simmons said. 

6 News obtained the documents with a records request Tuesday. They show a diagram of a section of the old Dillard's location at the Temple Mall with multiple blue ovals. The city believes these ovals represent future tank locations. 

The plans also show a map of the entire former Dillard's location with a red line and arrow pointing to the emergency exit. 

The Dillards diagram is dated to 2009 in small print and is labeled "Dillard Store Services Inc. Store planning and design." It appears the blue and red marks on the diagram were added later on.   

The City of Templeconfirmed the documents were not the work of Belton Engineering Inc. 

A Feb. 27 press release on the 7 Seas Facebook page stated, "Our local officials are working hard to apply International Plumbing Code to a unique project and we are working hard to comply so that this amazing and unique experience comes to Temple."

To date, the Dillard's diagram with ovals added is the only project plan document the City of Temple has received. 

6 News began investigating the construction and history of 7 Seas Aquarium after it was discovered that the business started selling passes in late 2019 without ever starting construction. 

The business has still not yet begun construction.

On Feb. 24 Aquarium curator Fidel M. Junco told a 6 News he just needed to get the fish into space before they can open. It was later confirmed that no construction had been done. 

On Feb. 25  6 News requested the documents Fidel M. Junco previously sent to the City of Temple. A letter of recommendation was later found from Jeff Foster with Marine Research Consultants.

The following day Foster said the letter was a fake.

"I did not write that letter and I wasn't aware that he used my signature either," Foster said. "I was really shocked to be on that recommendation that I didn’t write."

Foster said he has not had dealings with Junco in many years. He said he never endorsed Junco and he wasn't sure of his credentials.

In one email sent to the City of Temple from 7 Seas Aquarium, Junco listed "Hammond Aqualife LLC" as his business name for the aquarium. In a PDF presentation to the city, the company title used was "Blue Sea International." 

A web search for "Hammond Aqualife LLC" revealed multiple articles about aquarium and waterpark projects that were proposed but not built. 

To date, Junco has not contacted 6 News to answer any question or explain the information uncovered. 

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