Caring Education

4-H Foundation will keep $1.6 million, according to UF professor

July 18, 2013

Dr. Nick Place, dean of the University of Florida /IFAS Extension, announced his decision regarding the Escambia County 4-H and its future at today’s Escambia County Commission’s Committee of the Whole. (Read for background: 4-H and the Future and An Offer They Can’t Refuse)

Here are the options that Dr. Place accepted from the local advisory committee and made part of his announced decision:

Escambia County Equestrian Center
The 151-acre, county-owned site is currently used for horse shows, dog shows and 5k runs. With the exception of horses, the facility cannot currently accommodate livestock. Use of the site would require a use agreement with the county. Dr. Place recommended a partnership between 4-H and Escambia County.

Cottage Hill State Forest
With a total of 31.25 acres, this property could be deeded to the county by the state. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam favors the use of this free property. It creates a 4-H footprint in the Cantonment area, according to Dr. Place.

Non-Land Option — Animal Raising
The task force found there is potential to lease property to address the needs associated with raising animals.

He also decided that the funds from the Navy Federal Credit Union purchase of the 240-acre Langley Bell property –$1.6 million of which had been reserved for a possible purchase of property for 4-H–be given to the 4-H foundation, exclusively for use in Escambia County.

Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry was disappointed in Dr. Place’s decision. He stated that he didn’t believe it was fair and equitable, considering 4-H gave up 240 acres in the sale. Commissioner Wilson Robertson agreed and reminded the board that 4-H had been promised comparable property.

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  • cow chip July 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    DL Lamb -all terms of the MOU have been met which means this matter is concluded so I am a little fuzzy on what battle you might be referring to. No need for more committees, more meetings, more arguing. Game over.

  • david lamb July 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Thank you cc for your support. All my life I have been taught that promises made, verbal or written should be kept. Integrity demands it! evidently IFAS doesnt like that premise! In their visits with the 4Hers, prior to sale of LBC. verbal promises were made referring to equal land and a bright new facility. $1.6 million dollars from LBC sale monies were set aside for that purpose. Now that IFAS is buliding on Stefani Rd, They see the needof the 1.6 million for over budgeted construction.Thus reniging on land purchases! ECC says the 1.6 mil is private money and cannot be used on county property. “What next..GI?
    The ‘battle ” is just beginning!

  • joe July 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    circus time…I don’t think the malcom Thomas analogy is a fair one. The 4 h group was bequeathed property 70 years ago and the new proposal has them owning nothing.
    Seem like a fair swap to you?

  • Ron July 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I believe I heard Dr Place state his proposal included all three options as an inclusive package deal. Still don’t think this equals 240 acres that was sold. However, there will be costs involved in getting these sites ready to be used and if they count those in it may be close. Sounds Commissioner Barry was willing to work with Dr Place to reach a fair agreement. Just didn’t like the fact Commissioner Barry was being forced to make an unsound decision by one who is known for jumping the gun to make himself look good at the expense of others. If the extra monies that are left over go into the 4-H trust, for future projects/expenses in Escambia County, I’m for getting that 4-H program started back up as soon as possible. Have seen the work the 4-H programs have done for students and it’s awesome to watch the pride these young people have in a job well done.

  • circus time July 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    while we are at it, why don’t we let the kids tell Malcolm Thomas how to run the schools. Don’t stop there – let them tell David Morgan how to enforce the law. Free cake and ice cream for everybody!

  • Oh my July 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    The collard pot is sitting on the Bayer property

  • joe July 18, 2013 at 10:53 am

    So did the Dean just tell commish May that he didn’t want to re-engage the 4 h children in approving the new property proposals/programs?

    I tuned in to ectv to hear the George touart issue progress and am catching some of the 4 h discussion.