BOCC approves $3.8 million conservation easement 

The land will have an 224-acre preservation zone.
Courtesy Alachua County

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved $3.8 million to purchase a conservation easement on 623 acres just north of the city of Alachua and east of County Road 241.  

Andi Christman, director of the Land Conservation and Management Office, said the land contains the Bad Dog Branch and other tributaries of Mill Creek that runs into the Mill Creek Sink. She said the property owners hope to close by Dec. 20.  

The county will receive a $1 million reimbursement grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Suwannee River Water Management District, reducing the BOCC portion to $2.8 million. 

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The conservation agreement will allow 390 acres of agriculture, a 224-acre preservation zone, an eight-acre preservation buffer and a two-acre activity area. 

With the new Wild Spaces Public Place (WSPP) surtax, the county has another 10 years of dedicated funds for conservation. The BOCC decided how to divide the finances between conservation and parks in February.  

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Ed Wolcott

The book was very helpful in understanding how the utility business has changed and how Gainesville got itself into the biomass problem. It was a good presentation on how Ed Bielarski got Gainesville out of a very expensive contract, and some of the problems that Gainesville has with municipal services.