Gateway Sun

We interrupt the printing of HOA board recall ballots in Timber Ridge to remind you that there is a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District tomorrow at 3:00pm at 13240 Griffin Drive.

However, if Danny Nelson (District Engineer) and April White (Interim Operations Manager) have their way, future board meetings could be taking place at 12651 Girl Scout Lane. And based on posts by Supervisor Doug Banks on the Gateway Sun’s Facebook page, he appears to support the idea as well.

Here’s the basics: the GSCDD staff has grown to the point where their facility on Griffin Drive is over-crowded. Nobody who is familiar with the situation that we have spoken to disputes that. So something has to be done.

The board has approved $800,000 to renovate and expand the Griffin Drive facility to meet the current and future needs of the district staff.

A number of months ago, either Chairman William Guy or former Supervisor Rod Senior (I still haven’t bothered to go back through archived footage to find out who) suggested the district buy the Girl Scout building rather than expand, but that concept went nowhere at the time.

White has recently resurrected the idea, and it is now gaining some serious traction within the district’s offices.

Basically the admin group would be on Girl Scout Lane (and actually… now that the Girl Scouts have left the area, I officially recommend we rename the road.. how about: Ed Ryan Street) and the maintenance group would remain on Griffin Drive.

It’s likely that Nelson’s company, Tetra Tech, would make less money if the GSCDD bought the Girl Scout building than if they dropped $800,000 on Griffin Drive. So the fact that he’s on board despite the fact it probably hurts his firm is notable.

The Girl Scout building is listed for sale by Re/Max for $425,000, and White is seeking authorization from the Supervisors to make an initial bid of $375,000 (surprise Re/Max!) and have the authority to buy the building right at the asking price if negotiations go nowhere.

But a quick note of caution to the Re/Max agent and building owner who might try to squeeze the district: Tetra Tech’s plan for the full $800,000 to be spent on expansion on Griffin Drive provides a nice layout and is a pretty damn good plan. And it’s already approved. Buying your building is not. So don’t get greedy on White. You may be White’s Plan A .. but it means nothing if you’re the Supervisors’ Plan B.. even if White reaches a deal at full ask, the Supervisors will have at least 4 opportunities to pull the plug and lose just $2,000 on behalf of the residents – since $2,000 is the maximum non-refundable deposit that will be permitted.

Get a fair deal done. And make White look good. We want her to stick around.

The topic of acquiring the Girl Scout building is on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting. We support the plan because historically building improvements don’t increase much in value, whereas buying a piece of real estate in a good, central location will probably generate a profit for the residents over time.

We will let you know what decision is made at tomorrow’s meeting.

(And, no. This is not the huge story we’ve been working on. That’ll be dropped Friday morning.)

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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