Atlantic Beach Commits To $1.35 Million Purchase Of Conservation Land

Portion Of The Parcel In Selva Preserve Will Be Used For Passive Recreation.

The city of Atlantic Beach is moving forward with the purchase of a piece of property in Selva Preserve that it plans to use for conservation and passive recreation.

The city will pay $1.35 million for the 1.6-acre parcel. Included in the price is a 40’ easement granted to the City on the remaining parcel retained by Selva Preserve for the passive recreation use. City Manager Joe Garrity said that the negotiated price is $100,000 below the two appraisals the city got on the property.

The city has received one financing proposal for the property not to exceed $1.5 million from BBT Bank at an interest rate of 3.55 percent. Garrity plans to include legal fees and closing costs in the final amount of the loan.

The city has received an overwhelming number of emails from residents favoring the purchase. However, Commissioner John Stinson expressed reservations about the cost of the parcel. “It would have been interesting to have had a conversation with the developer, had we taken a little bit different approach,” Stinson said. “Where we might have ended up with that conservation land, and instead of spending $1.3 million dollars on buying property, that we might have ended up with that property and built the passive pathway through that property for you as the residents and had money left over.”

But Mayor Ellen Glasser said the commission should be looking ahead. “In a perfect world, we’d turn the clock back and bought this 12 years ago. The whole thing for $1 million. We didn’t have the foresight to do that,” Glasser said. “And so, we can sit and think about what the scenarios are, that we might have worked out a better deal for the city. But we are where we are. No looking back. Now or never. We can pay this loan off. Let’s move forward.

Commissioner Candice Kelly said that the city was not moving forward with the Selva Preserve property at the expense of projects, including needed infrastructure, in other parts of the city. The vote to move forward with the project was unanimous.

Agenda Information

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