In a deal that isn’t perfect for either side, the Santa Rosa County School Board agreed Thursday to buy part of Tiger Point Golf Club from the City of Gulf Breeze for $1.9 million.
The panel’s 5-0 vote came over the objections of a half-dozen homeowners in the Tiger Point area who warned about the potential of traffic jams on narrow roads leading from Highway 98 to the 45-acre tract.
The residents also cautioned the board about the possible need for expensive flood control measures on the low-lying property and the likelihood of soil contamination from the past spraying of chemicals related to keeping the golf course green.
The school district’s consultant on the project agreed there may be problems.
“Every concern that has been expressed has been absolutely valid,” said Patrick Jehle, vice president of Jehle-Halstead Inc., a civil engineering company.
But School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick endorsed the purchase while acknowledging that “there are issues. There would issues wherever you try to put a school.”
Wyrosdick estimated that the school—probably either for grades K-8 or 6 through 8 — won’t be built for at least five years.
“It won’t be during my tenure,” said Wyrosdick, who is in his third elected term and plans to retire in 2020.
Wyrosdick said after the board meeting he has only one concern about the proposed purchase: “Litigation.”
The City of Gulf Breeze faces a lawsuit filed by Santa Rosa Property Appraiser Greg Brown over the land’s value and ad valorem tax exemption.
The city had anticipated that a potential buyer would offer roughly twice the $1.9 million bid put forth by the school district. But the city council is eager to pay off debt associated with the Tiger Point Golf Club and improve the municipality’s balance sheet as a review by the Florida Auditor General looms. That audit is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
Read the full article in the Mar. 22 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options.
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