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Marco Island lands to be purchased by Conservation Collier for $5.4 million

Three properties on Marco Island can be purchased and preserved for threatened and endangered wildlife at a value of $5.39 million from the Conservation Collier fund, the Board of County Commissioners decided Tuesday.

“We have authorized the acquisition of more Conservation Collier land in District 1 in the previous few weeks than has been acquired within the last 20 years,” Commission Chairman Rick LoCastro wrote in a newsletter Thursday. District 1 encompasses East Naples, Marco Island, Goodland, Isles of Capri, and Port of the Islands.

Burrowing owls, gopher tortoises, and bald eagles continue to exist the lands Conservation Collier really helpful be purchased. The parcels also provide refuge for migratory warblers and other wildlife. Conservation Collier, established by the BOCC in 2003, oversees and makes recommendations for acquiring properties with high natural resource value, after which maintains them. Collier County has collected greater than $60 million for this system prior to now two years through a special tax levy approved by votes in 2020.

“The $5,387,500 spent on the six parcels totaling 3.22 acres represents the biggest preservation land acquisition in Marco Island history,” Marco Island Assistant City Manager Casey Lucius said in an email.

What properties were considered?

The Conservation Collier Land Acquisition Advisory Committee really helpful the acquisition of 4 properties for $6.55 million. The three approved properties are:

  • Annecy Marco LLC    181, 191, 201, 221 S. Barfield Dr.           2.13 acres        $3,140,000 
  • South Terra Corp.       1125 Caxambas Drive, Marco Island         0.56 acres        $1,620,000 
  • Diane G Chestnut       660 Inlet Drive, Marco Island                   0.53 acres        $627,500 

Closings typically occur inside 30 days of the approval of the acquisition agreement, LoCastro wrote.

Commissioners rejected the acquisition of 0.63 acres at 1929 Indian Hill St. – Agua Colina LLC – for $1.12 million.

Rejected properties

“The fourth lot actually has historical human stays on it,” LoCastro wrote. “So not one of the best candidate to spend taxpayers’ money on because it’s virtually ‘unbuildable’… and will proceed to remain preserved by itself.”

In July, commissioners rejected one other Marco Island property for a second time after Marco City Council offered to place up among the money. The property – 0.39 acres on Inlet Road on Marco Island – is also home to burrowing owls and gopher tortoises – each on Florida’s official Endangered and Threatened Species list. The gopher tortoise is also on the federal list.

Commissioners rejected the property first in April after which let it die for lack of a second on LoCastro’s motion in July, with one commissioner saying he didn’t just like the seller’s unwillingness to barter the value.

Conservation Collier has been under scrutiny

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