SFWMD plans to sell 20 acres near Platts Bluff

OKEECHOBEE — The South Florida Water Management District has announced plans to sell a 20-acre tract east of the Kissimmee River and south of Platts Bluff Park.

The property is located at the end of Northwest 56th Street approximately 1.9 miles west of Northwest 128th Avenue in Okeechobee County, adjacent to the Okeechobee County Platts Bluff Park.

It was purchased in 1986 as part of the Save Our Rivers Program. According to the Okeechobee Property Appraiser’s website, SFWMD paid $140,900 for the property in 1986.

SFWMD recently deemed the property as surplus.

The western boundary of the subject property is a historic oxbow of the Kissimmee River which lies east of the channelized Kissimmee River (C-38 Canal). Since its purchase, the property has been leased to Okeechobee County, at no fee, for use as part of the Platts Bluff Park.

According to the assessment conducted by Callaway & Price, Inc., the only improvements to the property include perimeter barbed wire fencing with a steel swinging gate for access from the northern boundary. The property has never been cleared and is overgrown with native vegetation.

The property was originally purchased for use in the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.

There are some environmental restrictions on the land due to the presence of active gopher tortoise burrows.

The appraiser found the best use for the property is agriculture.

On July 19, SFWMD sent Okeechobee County a letter notifying the county of the termination of the lease agreement effective Nov. 17.

A site visit will be held on Sept. 13, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the property site.

Bids on the property start at $160,000 and will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Oct. 18. Bids must be accompanied by a deposit of $16,000.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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