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Sebastian Council again to discuss buying working waterfront land

SEBASTIAN — Once again, the fate of Sebastian’s long-planned working waterfront project will be up to debate tonight as the Sebastian City Council sits as the Community Redevelopment Agency during a special meeting.

Tonight’s meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and is expected to pick up where the last CRA meeting left off on March 10, amidst council discussion. Whether public input will be allowed during tonight’s meeting remains unclear, as public input was taken at the previous meeting.  

The Community Redevelopment Agency is expected to take up a vote on how it should proceed with the Working Waterfront project. The members will choose between three options – walk away and abandon the project, provide a counteroffer for the purchase of one of the two properties involved, or accept the proposed purchase price of $750,000.

The city had budgeted $351,000 to buy two parcels of land along Indian River Drive and the Indian River Lagoon, including the former Hurricane Harbor and what is known as the Dabrowski property.

The city, with state assistance, is under contract to buy Hurricane Harbor for $230,000 – the state will pay $2.3 million through the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront Grant program for the land – leaving $121,000 in the budget for the city’s share of the Dabrowski site.

Though the state appraised the Dabrowski land at $500,000, the seller is seeking more – $750,000 for the land.

The state will only approve spending $450,000 on the land, which is 90 percent of the appraised value, leaving the city to fund the rest.

If Sebastian leaders approve the $750,000 purchase price, the city would have to pay $179,000 over what it had budgeted for the land buys.

After more than an hour of public input and discussion on March 10, the CRA decided it needed more time to discuss and debate before taking a vote.

At one point during the meeting, Mayor Richard Gillmor suggested the council approve sending a counteroffer of $571,000. The council voted to continue the discussion instead of the counteroffer.


By the Numbers:

CRA Budget for Working Waterfront: $351,000

Money approved for Hurricane Harbor: $230,000

Money left over for Dabrowski property: $121,000

State Appraisal for Dabrowski: $500,000

State’s anticipated share for Dabrowski: $450,000

City’s anticipated share for Dabrowski: $50,000

City’s anticipated budget surplus for project: $71,000 ($121,000 – $50,000)

Current asking price for Dabrowski: $750,000

State’s anticipated share (based on new price): $450,000

City’s anticipated additional cost for Dabrowski: $179,000 ($300,000 price difference between state and trust minus (-) $121,000 budgeted for Dabrowski)

City’s anticipated total cost for working waterfront: $530,000 ($230,000 + $300,000)

City’s anticipated CRA budget overrun for project: $179,000

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