Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco officials agree to buy 109 acres in Holiday for preserve

NEW PORT RICHEY — Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to buy 109 acres in Holiday that could be used for a future nature park.

The tract, next to Anclote Gulf Park and Key Vista Nature Park, would help create a chain of green space in the southwest corner of Pasco County.

"It's part of the puzzle out there," said Commissioner Ann Hildebrand. "I call that whole area the scenic cruise of west Pasco County."

The property is located off Baillie's Bluff Road and is already surrounded by county-owned land. The $2.4 million purchase price comes from Penny for Pasco sales tax funds dedicated to environmental land acquisition.

The sale is contingent on an environmental study expected to be conducted over the next few weeks. There is an old cattle dipping vat near the site from the 1930s that could contain dangerous chemicals, officials said.

The vat is located on property already owned by the county, though officials are unsure whether the contamination plume extends onto the proposed purchase site.

The county added a clause to a contract with owner Ryland Homes saying if the environmental study shows that the plume is too large, the county could back out of the purchase.

"If the report comes in bad … we don't close on the deal," said County Administrator John Gallagher.

Once samples are taken at the vat location, officials would fence off the contaminated area and spread a layer of topsoil to prevent people from coming in contact with any contaminants. The county could also excavate the area and do a full cleanup, but officials said that could be too costly.

There was also concern over the purchase price. One appraisal listed the property at $2.1 million and a second appraisal put the value at $2.7 million.

A small piece of the property was designated as county right of way under an agreement from 1911. The county made an offer that would have lowered the purchase price by roughly $30,000 to account for that, but Ryland refused.

"This is a gem of a piece of property," said Commissioner Pat Mulieri. "I'd hate to lose this (over that issue)."

Clarke Hobby, a lawyer representing Ryland, said the company paid $14.5 million for the property and thinks the county "is getting a steal."

The vote to approve the sale was 4-1, with Commissioner Jack Mariano dissenting over concerns about the cattle vat.

Pasco officials agree to buy 109 acres in Holiday for preserve 12/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 6:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.
  5. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.