Pinellas County to negotiate preservation land acquisition in Tarpon Springs

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously authorized County Administration to negotiate an agreement for future acquisition of preservation land in north Pinellas County.

County officials will initiate negotiations with the Pinellas County School Board for acquisition of the 14-acre property, known as the West Klosterman Preserve which is adjacent to Mariner’s Point Management Area in Tarpon Springs. It also authorizes the county to negotiate a funding agreement with West Klosterman Preservation Group, Inc. (WKPG) for a public-private partnership. Under the agreements, subject to BCC ratification, the County would provide 50% of the funding required to purchase the property in an amount not to exceed $1.5 million. WKPG would provide a donation to the County in an amount equal to 50% of the negotiated purchase price. The agreement will also establish a timeframe for securing the full amount, not to exceed $3 million.

The West Klosterman Preserve property contains 14 acres of environmentally sensitive land that are intended to be added to Mariner’s Point. Pending agreement ratification and funding, the County would own the Property and be responsible for future maintenance upon acquisition. Property acquisition would be funded by the local infrastructure sales surtax (Penny for Pinellas).

Pinellas County has a comprehensive land preservation program that regularly identifies and pursues local land preservation opportunities. Recently, the County and City of Dunedin achieved a similar public-private partnership for the acquisition of the Gladys Douglas Preserve in Dunedin.

The West Klosterman Preservation Group, Inc. is a nonprofit, environmental preservation advocacy organization that has been championing the preservation of this property for over two years.

In other county news:

Public Works crews recognized for completing 500+ sidewalk improvements

County Administrator Burton underscored recent accomplishments by the Public Works sidewalk crews. Two years ago, the Board committed extra funding to raise the level of service in sidewalk repair. Crews completed over 580 repairs throughout the county, all ahead of deadline.

Commission honors National Workforce Development Month

The Board issued a proclamation recognizing local workforce development efforts by stakeholders including Pinellas County Economic Development, CareerSource Pinellas, Duke Energy and more.