I understand from numerous conversations that the negotiations between the Trust for Public Lands and the owners of the golf course are moving along in a very positive way, and that they are finalizing a memorandum of understanding and working on the instructions for and selection of an appraiser for the golf course property. CRA representatives have attended a number of these meetings, and they are pleased with the progress, and the CRA and the Trust for Public Lands have been refining the terms of their arrangement.
Simply, if things go forward with the acquisition of the golf course: The Trust for Public Lands will purchase the golf course and in turn at closing enter into a lease/purchase agreement with the CRA. The CRA will lease the property while preparing a bond issue to raise the funds to acquire the property from the Trust for Public Lands at the price that the Trust paid for the property. The CRA will pay the yearly debt service for the bonds from the tax increment coming from the expanded area surrounding the golf course.
As Councilwoman Dolores Bertolini stated at the golf course Town Hall meeting, the CRA pursuant to statutory requirements will be undertaking a “Finding of Necessity” of the area surrounding and including the golf course to identify conditions of blight that need to be addressed, and that Finding of necessity will then be the basis of a CRA Boundary expansion to include the area surrounding and the golf course. Inclusion within the CRA means that future normally increasing property taxes (no additional taxes are assessed for being within the CRA) will go to the CRA to pay debt service on the bonds issued to purchase the golf course from the Trust for Public Lands. This increment, the Tax Increment, is the way the golf course acquisition will be financed.
At this time, as stated, the owners and the Trust for Public Lands are in final negotiation on the instructions for the appraisal, and the Trust for Public Lands is meeting with the CRA to finalize the terms of the lease/purchase agreement. In addition, the CRA Board has authorized the Executive Director to enter into a contract to undertake the Finding of Necessity Study, and such Study should be underway in February.
The process of expanding the boundaries of the CRA is a very public process and meetings of the community, Planning & Zoning Board, CRA Board and City Council must be held before everything goes forward.
The CRA has this as a priority item, and the City staff will fast track this effort as much as possible. All parties agree that the transfer of title to the Trust for Public Lands and the lease/purchase agreement with the CRA can realistically occur in calendar year 2009. Additional details and a projected timeline of actions should be available from the CRA late in February.
I will continue to monitor the progress and update everyone periodically.
The Save Our Recreation fund raiser held at the Lutheran Church in March, 2007 was a great success and I thank you again for your generous support. In the last 2 years the monies have been well spent on consultants and accounting, however funds are running low. I ask that anyone able to send a contribution, however small, please do so. Our fight will continue until our mission is accomplished.
Please share this message with friends and neighbors without access to email.
Please make your check payable to; Save Our Recreation
Mail to: Save Our Recreation
C/O Mary Neilson
3862 SE 7th PL
Cape Coral, FL 33904
As Always, Thank you for your continued support and commitment to Save The Golf Course. By standing together as one we will make a difference in our community.