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Thursday, 15 June 2017 22:30

Protect our Water - Urge County Commissioners to Purchase Edison Farms Featured

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For 15 years residents of Estero have been fighting to keep the 4,000 acre Edison Farms property, located across I-75 from the Brooks, free of development and the CR951 roadway, we have a real opportunity to see it acquired for permanent conservation.

On Tuesday morning at 9:30 at the Old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St., downtown Fort Myers, the Lee County Commissioners will make their decision on the current opportunity to purchase the Edison Farms property. 

The property known as Edison Farms is adjacent to Hidden Cypress Preserve--a Conservation 20/20 preserve--and lands maintained by the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW). County commissioners have made preserving Edison Farms a top legislative priority for the past two years and have made prior attempts to acquire the property as a Conservation 20/20 site.During its January 24, 2017, regular meeting, the Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to again explore the possibility of acquiring Edison Farms. County staff responded to Land Solutions' call for offers issued on January 16, 2017, and has been corresponding with the broker since that time. In addition, the County has obtained three appraisals from state certified real estate appraisers. The resulting valuations are $35,160,000; $37,000,000; and $42,435,000. The property seller (Investor's Warranty of America) has represented through Land Solutions, Inc., that it will convey the property to Lee County under the terms specified in Option 2 below.Options at this time:
  1. Do nothing more at this time;
  2. Agree to Seller's terms of $49,000,000 plus documentary stamps and title insurance costs (estimated to be approximately $450,000); no modifications to existing Oil, Gas & Mineral rights (below 140' with ingress/egress held by Collier Land and Cattle Corp. and Barron Collier Resources, LLC); and close no later than October 30, 2017 (this action requires an affirmative vote of 4 Commissioners per Section 125.355, Florida Statutes);
  3. Authorize staff to present an offer to purchase - a) Highest appraised value - sale price of $42,435,000 would ultimately require 4 votes ("extraordinary vote" per Section 125.355, Florida Statutes) b) Average appraised value (or less) - sale price up to $38,198,333 would ultimately require 3 affirmative votes.
What's at Stake:
3,900 acres of quality wetlands critical to Estero's future water supply, flooding control, and wildlife. 

What You Can Do:
Contact commissioners in support of obtaining the entire Edison Farms property in perpetuity. You may also attend the meeting and speak before the Commissioners. 

9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 20

Old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St., downtown Fort Myers
from ECCL Actions newsletter sharing Village of Estero's original post
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