Algae-growing operation wants to move to Archie Smith Fish House land

SEBASTIAN – A company that cultivates algae for aquariums and fish farms wants to relocate to Sebastian and move onto the historic Archie Smith Fish House property on Indian River Drive.

The firm, AlgaGen LLC, will be making its pitch to the Sebastian City Council this evening, seeking the council’s support of using the site – on both sides of the road. AlgaGen CEO William Cox has told city officials that the company would like to make the move by October 2011.

Cox has said, according to city records, that the firm would develop the Archie Smith Fish House land on the west of Indian River Drive into the algae growth operation, while the historic fish house itself could be turned into a greenhouse to host more algae growth.

A building facing the road on the east side of Indian River Drive would be turned into a visitor’s exhibition and educational center, featuring a variety of living organisms grown or maintained for wholesalers.

“We will seek the county’s support for monies that may be available to restore and repair” the building, Cox wrote in a memo to the City of Sebastian.

The company will also be asking the county for a 99-year lease for the site, long term tax relief from the city for tangible property and equipment, city-provided parking for employees, assistance in getting permits and permissions required for operations over and in submerged lands, and under-road drilling permission for salt water and related well lines.

AlgaGen is expected to make a presentation to the council shortly after the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Later in the evening – unless the council shifts the agenda – the members will consider the company’s request and decide whether or not to pass a resolution of support.

Also during the council meeting, the city council is expected to pass a resolution voicing the city’s concern regarding the deteriorating state of the Archie Smith Fish House. The resolution is meant to urge the Board of County Commissioners to preserve the property.

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