Fire sale for old fire station?

By Kile Brewer
Posted 8/8/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – After a unanimous vote Tuesday, the City of Green Cove Springs will likely make another attempt to sell its old fire station building located near the train tracks on the …

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Fire sale for old fire station?

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – After a unanimous vote Tuesday, the City of Green Cove Springs will likely make another attempt to sell its old fire station building located near the train tracks on the corner of Roderigo Avenue and Center Street.

This vote moves the ordinance through a required first reading, and if the vote carries through the second and final public hearing, the property will be deemed surplus. The city has done this in the past with the same building, but, after a failed negotiation with the Clay County School Board for the purchase of the site, the city went back in and did some more work. After removing a large electric transformer from the site and doing the necessary environmental cleanup, City Manager Danielle Judd said it was time to put the building back up for sale.

“We’ve taken care of everything,” Judd said. “We’ve done all the remediation work, we had to pay a company to come in and get the soil out.”

Council Member Van Royal said that having the necessary environmental certificates would make the selling process go much more smoothly and that he knows there are people out there looking for a building exactly like this one.

“That’s one less step [the buyer] will have to take,” Royal said. “The building has value, I guarantee you. It’s a perfect building for subcontractors.”

In the agenda, staff provided options for the city going forward including selling the property via sealed bid or realtor. Prior to the vote, the city updated the building’s 2014 appraisal and the property, including the .94 acre lot and building that hovers around 2,100 square feet, was valued at $134,000. The value of the land was set at $78,000, while the building was estimated at $56,000.

The building was no longer used after the City of Green Cove Springs voted to shudder its fire department and turn over fire and rescue duties inside the city limits to Clay County Fire and Rescue more than a decade ago.

“I wouldn’t go with a sealed bid, I’d find a realtor, because I think you’ll get the highest cost,” Royal said. “Anytime anybody thinks of a sealed bid they think [the property] is distressed. There are a lot of people looking for that kind of building.”

Judd said she would be looking to move the sale along as quickly as possible and urged the council to support this as the estimated revenue from the sale is calculated into the fiscal year 2019 budget, something the council began sorting through Tuesday morning before their regularly scheduled meeting.

Budget discussions will continue at 9 a.m. Thursday morning as the city moves on from discussions about employee benefits and a combination of the water, wastewater, reclaimed water and solid waste utility funds to the electric utility fund and stormwater utility fund.

Following that budget meeting, the city will reconvene for two more 9 a.m. budget discussions on Tuesday, August 14 and Tuesday, August 21 before holding public hearings on the approval of the budget with any suggestions or changes from council added in.

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