At the February 16 meeting of the Gateway Services Community Development District the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to make an offer to purchase the former Girl Scout building on Girl Scout Lane.

The building is currently on the market for $415,000. The Supervisors have agreed to pay a maximum of $370,000.

Technically, this building purchase was already funded in the fiscal 2017 budget since a total of $800,000 was approved and assessed for a new facility for district staff.

However, while the district could pay cash for the building, the board voted to finance the purchase over a 5-year period instead.

Assuming all of the district’s residents and businesses pay an equal share in accordance with the amount of EAU’s their property is assigned, the building itself would cost each Gateway household between $7-10 per year for 5 years.

Gateway residents can also expect to pay an additional amount between $15-20 per year per resident for 5 years to renovate the Girl Scout building as well as the existing GSCDD building on Griffin Drive.

Again, most of the renovation costs were already accounted for in the FY2017 budget (ie: you’ve already paid for most of the renovations), however the Supervisors seem to be leaning toward financing this aspect of the project as well.

Vice-Chairman Bill Guy and Supervisor Ed Tinkle both expressed concerns about the amount of money the district is going to be needing for other projects, so keeping the cash in the bank was the motivator toward obtaining 5-year financing.

With interest rates these days at around 2% or 3% for the GSCDD’s borrowing status, the cost of financing will not be substantial when compared to the purchase price.

Supervisor Kathleen Flaherty was the lone vote against the Girl Scout building purchase. Her concerns were not financial, but rather she fears the building could have structural problems or mold. Chairmain Margaret Fineberg explained the purchase offer would be contingent upon a thorough inspection of the building.

Although the purchase offer would contain a $15,000 down-payment, it would be refundable.

Should the purchase not go through the only cost to the residents would be $5,500 for the building inspection.

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

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