ALACHUA COUNTY
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Jack Durrance Auditorium, Room 209 Second Floor 12 SE 1st Street
June 14, 2016 Regular BoCC Meeting
Agenda Item #13


Title
Purchase of Barr Hammock Webb Tract through the Alachua County Forever Program

Amount
$98,681.00

Description
Request for the Board to exercise its option to purchase the Barr Hammock Webb Tract.

Recommendation
The Board should exercise its option to purchase the Barr Hammock Webb Tract,approve the Budget Amendment, and authorize staff to execute any additional documents as necessary to close the transaction.

Alternative(s)
The Board should not approve staff’s recommendation and provide direction.

Requested By
Chris Bird, 264-6801

Originating Department
Environmental Protection

Attachment(s) Description
Exhibit 1: Executed Option Contract. Exhibit 2: Photo and Map of Property. Exhibit 3: Property Evaluation. Exhibit 4: Cost Estimates Exhibit 5: Budget Amendment

Documents Requiring Action
Exhibit 1: Executed Option Contract. Exhibit 5: Budget Amendment.

Executive Summary
On February 23, 2016, the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) executed the attached contract (Exhibit 1) to purchase the Barr Hammock-Webb Property. The contract contains an option for the BoCC to either accept the deal and close, or to terminate the contract. The 135-acre property is located in unincorporated Alachua County south and immediately adjacent to Barr Hammock Preserve overlook (Exhibit 2). This portion is important as it protects the wilderness experience for future recreational users at the overlook by eliminating incompatible uses such as hunting and airboat use from the Preserve near shore area.

Background
The Webb property was originally part of the Pitts and Rudnianyn project (Exhibit 3) -- the first to be nominated to the Alachua County Forever Program, and the first to be added to the Active Acquisition List. After a lengthy court battle, the property was partitioned and Mr. Rudnianyn sold his portion to Mr. Webb. Earlier negotiations by the County and the Conservation Trust for Florida for a Conservation Easement on the Webb property were unsuccessful. With the imminent opening of the Barr Hammock overlook, staff re-approached Mr. Webb and successfully negotiated the attached Option Agreement for the purchase of just a 135-acre portion of his ownership that fronts the proposed Barr Hammock Preserve overlook (a portion of Tax Parcel #16831-000-000). This portion is important as it protects the wilderness experience for future recreational users at the overlook by eliminating incompatible uses such as hunting and airboat use from the Preserve near shore area. The BoCC approved that contract on February 23, 2016. The contract contains an option for the BoCC to either accept the deal and close, or to terminate the contract after the due diligence has been completed. Staff has completed the due diligence and can report there are no issues that preclude closing the transaction.

Issues
The purchase price is the maximum that can be offered under the appraisal obtained by the County. This was a difficulty appraisal assignment since it is almost impossible to find comparable sales for a 100% wet, recreational property with no legal access. The appraiser had to tease out wetland values from recent recreational land sales, with remote or no development potential and adjust for wetlands coverage and access. A final accounting of the acquisition-related expenses in provided (Exhibit 4).There will be no additional stewardship costs as it will be managed as part of the Barr Hammock Preserve. To create the appropriate budget authority and move the cash to purchase the property, the attached (Exhibit 5) Budget Amendment should also be approved. Note, the $125 difference between the BA and the Recommendation is due to the County title search being paid for in FY2015 and so is not included in the BA.

Fiscal Recommendation
Approve expenditure of $98,681

Fiscal Alternative(s)
No additional expenditures

Funding Sources
Alachua County Forever Bond reserves

Account Code(s)
326-5564


Attachment:  Exhibit 1 Webb Contract.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit 4 Webb costs.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit 2 Webb Photo and Map.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit 3 Webb Evaluation.pdf
Attachment:  Exhibit 5 Budget Amendment Barr Hammock.pdf