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Palm Coast Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 3 years ago

County to buy land for new library branch near Government Services Building

The county also agreed to buy another nearby property for future use.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Flagler County is getting a new library: The County Commission voted unanimously Aug. 7 to buy an 8.4-acre parcel of land near the Government Services Building on State Road 100 for a new library branch.

Commissioners also agreed to buy a nearby 9-acre parcel of land for unspecified possible future needs, and revised a purchase contract for a 25-acre parcel for a future fire station at the corner of State Road 100 and County Road 305, extending the time frame for inspections.

The purchase price for the library plot is $65,000 per acre, and the nearby 9-acre lot is priced at $40,000 per acre. There one problem: final appraisals on the two properties haven’t been completed yet.

“We are unsure whether the prices will come in higher to lower than the per acre price listed in the purchase agreement,” a county staff report states.

If the appraisals come in lower than the stated purchase price, it would normally take a supermajority of the County Commission — four votes out of five — to approve the purchases.

The county administration was less certain of the value of the secondary plot than of the one that will become the home of the future library, which already has necessary permits and mitigation completed. The secondary parcel is mitigated for, but it doesn’t have a usable road.

But the commission did away with that requirement during the meeting, agreeing unanimously with County Administrator Craig Coffey’s advice to go ahead and approve the buys ahead of time regardless of appraisal value.

“This is an opportunity to buy high-and-dry land,” Coffey said. “Regardless of what the market says that land is worth at this point, we know it’s going to be more valuable in the future.”

As the county develops the land around Commerce Parkway, Coffey said, the land will become more valuable and the price could increase far beyond the current $40,000 per acre.

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