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notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

Item 44

Finance and Administration Committee

October 30, 2012

Submit and File Report

Bartow Service Office Update

Purpose

To provide the Governing Board with an update of the activities completed and planned for

selling the Bartow Service Office property and relocating the District staff assigned to that

facility.

Background

The Governing Board provided three preferences for the Bartow Service Office property:

(1) relocate the Operation Division staff to facilities existing within the District’s Lake Hancock

landholdings (Kent Property); (2) sell the Bartow Service Office property, preferably to a

governmental entity; and (3) when appropriate, relocate the Regulation Division staff to a leased

location in Polk County, preferably leased from a governmental entity.

Update

District staff has completed the following activities and will complete the following plan:

1. The District’s Kent Property building improvements are completed and are ready for the

Operations Division. Staff is waiting for appropriate zoning and permit approvals from Polk

County and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Final authorization to relocate

is anticipated between January and March 2013.

2. The surplus of the Bartow Service Office property underwent review and approval by DEP in

accordance with their policies and procedures. The process included the property being first

made available for consideration to other governmental entities. A couple of agencies have

made inquiries, expressed significant interest, and received information about the property.

Despite staff offers to negotiate creative financial alternatives, the District has not received

any offers from any public entities. Therefore, staff will proceed with an initial public offering

before December 31. The District will conduct a Request for Bid (RFB) process to ensure

that everyone receives an equal opportunity to bid for the property. If the initial public

offering does not result in a sale, the property will remain available to all potential parties,

outside of the RFB process. The District will remain flexible with its options for a transaction;

including the ability to consider leasing back a portion of the property, if beneficial. The

District’s consideration and acceptance of any offer requires that the sale must be made in

accordance with the provisions of Section 373.089, Florida Statutes, and the terms of a

transaction will require the approval of the Governing Board.

3. Staff has completed an inventory of the available public sector space, which could

accommodate the defined needs of the Regulation Division staff. Four possible alternatives

have been identified, and staff prepared a ten-year total cost analysis on the properties,

which include two City of Bartow airport properties, a Polk County Landfill property, and the

Bartow Service Office West Wing. The ten-year cost totals range from $475,500 to

$1,041,450 with retaining or leasing-back a smaller segment of the Bartow Service Office

being the low cost option. Staff is using this analysis to prepare a Request for Proposal

(RFP) for the leasing of space. The fore mentioned public entities may participate, and

private entities will be eligible. Staff will continue to reduce the Regulation Division

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