Quint Studer sent a letter to the Pensacola City Council on Monday, May 5 in support of the proposed fish hatchery at Bruce Beach. He wanted to clear up his position on the controversial plan to lease the city-owned property to the state for the facility to be built with BP funds.
“This past week I have heard from multiple sources regarding my position on the Fish Hatchery at Bruce Beach,” wrote Studer. “I have heard that I am 100 percent for the hatchery and heard that I am 100% against it.”
He said that he did approve of the hatchery on the proposed site because part of the funds will be used to remediate Bruce Beach. “Even if the hatchery does not work out, the worse-case scenario is that the city has remediated land which is safe and open to the public for enjoyment and learning,” he said. “This is far better than what is in place today.”
Studer wrote that he did not believe that any private investors are interested in the property. He believed that a Request for Proposal for the Bruce Beach site would not have generated any interest.
“If they existed, they would have come forward by now,” he said. “This the same approach some on the Council and the CMPA took with the Maritime YMCA. Those who opposed the project on Site 8 believed a better option would come along. A year later, that lot is still empty—and it is remediated, site ready property. Lease fees that would have generated $1 million over 10 years and $5 million over the entire lease are gone.”
Studer said that the city needs clear guidelines regarding the process to put vacant government land to more productive use.
“These reforms could range from zoning, to best use, to how the RFP process or selection of firms to advertise and broker such properties should be handled,” he said. “The more transparent and publicly understood the process to dispense excess government property, the greater ability to attract non-government investments in the area, which is important to improve the quality of life for area residents.”