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Megapark entrance work to cost $1.9M
jp tradepoint east
Artist concept of Tradepoint East entranceway - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
The Liberty County Development Authority Monday accepted a $1.9 million proposal from Russell Landscape Group for work at the entrance to Tradeport East.
The project includes landscape, hardscape, irrigation and roadwork at the development park east of I-95. The bid from Russell was lowest -- the other three exceeded $2 million -- and received the most points from a review committee.
The LCDA uses a point system in which bidders are rated according to experience, price, minority participation and other factors.
As part of a plan to dispose of property that no longer fits the authority's mission, the LCDA accepted an offer of $309,020 for 20 acres in Allenhurst.
Allenhurst Mayor Thomas Hines offered $50,000 for the tract, to be developed as a possible new town hall, park and fire department. The authority in accepting the higher offer from Dennis Waters noted that $50,000 was less than the price paid for the land decades ago.
LCDA documents also say the Waters offer was "in range of the authority's appraisal."  
The authority's appraisal -- or lack of one -- brought confusion and delay to a move to sell another advertised tract of about 27 acres in Walthourville.
The sole bidder was Waters who offered $54,000 for the property, most of which is wetlands. LCDA members appeared in agreement with a staff recommendation to accept the offer and seemed on the point of voting to do so.
But authority member Brian Smith asked: "Didn't we have this property appraised a few years back?"
This set the members to discussing how very little of the property was high enough to use, possibly only four to six acres out of the 27.
Authority members and staff began trying to recall appraisals and the usable acreage upon which they had been based. Amounts mentioned ranged from $180,000 to $800,000.
The authority ended the discussion by deciding to ask the Corps of Engineer to mark the wetlands of the property, and then to have the land surveyed.
The members will wait for this information before proceeding with a sale.
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