The city has had its eye on the property at 385 S. Old Kings Road for at least a decade.
The city of Ormond Beach is in the middle of negotiations to purchase a lot on South Old Kings Road for $285,000 near Central Park.
During a workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the City Commission directed staff to go forward with the purchase of the property, located at 385 S. Old Kings Road and owned by Paul Duncan. City Engineer John Noble said his predecessor discussed the city purchasing the property from Duncan about 10 years ago, but that Duncan was not interested in selling because his mother was living in the house.
Since then, Noble said that Duncan's mom has died, Duncan moved to the west side of the county and now he is interested in selling. The 3.7 acre property is located at the south end of Central Park Phase III and in close proximity to the Environmental Discovery Center. Because a part of it is located in the flooplain, it provides for floodplain storage and would give the city a chance to increase its capacity within the Central Park and Laurel Creek drainage basin.
“This is, yet again, or city commission putting our money where our mouth is and preserving a heavily wooded piece of property," City Commissioner Troy Kent said.
Duncan also has a few requests of his own. He's asking that he be allowed to take everything on the property with him (the house has a house, several abandoned vehicles, boats, tires and other household items), be allowed to retain physical possession of the property for one year to clean it up and receive 50% of the money upfront.
Duncan also wants the city to name the lake after his family.
“Negotiations have been a bit… challenging," City Attorney Randy Hayes said.
Hayes recommended the commission counter Duncan's request by asking for an amount to be set aside in escrow in case Duncan doesn't clear out the property. If this happened, the city would take ownership of the things left behind, making them the city's responsibility to remove, and therefore necessitating the funds. Removal of the times is estimated to cost anywhere between $25,000-$50,000.
Hayes also recommended the city let Duncan have access to the property for six months and that instead of naming the lake after his family, the city construct some form of historical plaque discussing the historical ownership of the property.
No City Commissioner expressed strong opinions about naming or not naming the lake after Duncan's family. Ideas for naming a dock or nearby creek were also discussed.
The lot also has 37 discarded 55-gallon drums, some of which were filled with brake cleaning fluid. A city memo reads that some leaking of the fluid was present at one location. Hayes said this is important as it could slow down the purchase.