Warm Mineral Springs Update: Hoping for Agreement
Sep 01, 2014 03:05AM
On July 14, the City of North Port Commission made the decision to accept an offer from the Sarasota County Commission to purchase Warm Mineral Springs.
According to Juliette Jones, Ph.D., a long-time activist supporting conservation of the springs, this appears to be a step in the right direction for two reasons. First, she says, the City of North Port will be able to make decisions as a singular body without the encumbrance of a controversial political partnership. Second, the majority of the current North Port City Commission appears to be growing in awareness and understanding, regarding the need to restore, preserve and protect this unique environmentally sensitive, publicly-owned parkland property. This is true, as concerns both the ecological health and encroachment of adverse private development.
“At the time of public purchase back in December 2010,” says Dr. Jones, “one clarion remark made by North Port City Commissioner Tom Jones continues to stand out: ‘If we don't preserve this ecological and architectural site, it will be too late when there is a violation or it is destroyed. Placing it in the hands of our local community will prevent that destruction. WMS can also be taken off the market and closed by private developers. This is an acquisition that will reap dividends to the people of North Port in the long run. This is money well spent.’”
Dr. Jones continues, “How prophetic this statement appears in 2014. While there are still local political forces in the form of upcoming City Commission candidates pushing for development of this property, the City of North Port may yet have the chance to fulfill the original purchase intent and protect this property as the unique natural treasure, which is its true heritage.”
She praises the North Port majority Commission on this move forward and the Sarasota County Commission, as well, for their willingness to sell to the City of North Port.
“I hope that the people of Sarasota County will send both Commissions a big thank you note when this deal is concluded,” she says. “While there are challenges at Warm Mineral Springs, which are yet to be resolved, ‘Springs Hopes Eternal’.”
Look for her update on Warm Mineral Springs in the October issue of Natural Awakenings.
For more information, email Juliette Jones at [email protected] or visit FriendsofWarmMineralSprings.org.