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FL DOT Aquisitions – Genuine Concern or Conspiracy Theory and Political Witch Hunt?

FL DOT Aquisitions – Genuine Concern or Conspiracy Theory and Political Witch Hunt?

In 2006, the Florida Department of Transportation approved an intersection re-alignment at the intersection at Hwy 98 and 319 near the Wakulla High School.  Recently, there has been a lot of conversation in our county about this intersection.  A Facebook page was setup to label the intersection as "Deadly" and attempted to tie a current County Commissioner to the State's decision to re-align this intersection. See for yourself here.  The Tallahassee Democrat has written articles, about the State's re-alignment plan.  The most recent article describes our home as, "Wakulla County, where political divisions run deep and conspiracy theories abound".  See the article here.  I'm never content with accepting what I read or what I hear, so I decided to do a little homework to help me reach my own conclusion.  Are the folks who are pushing this issue genuinely concerned about the State's acquisition of land around the proposed intersection or are these folks taking advantage of this issue to demonize a current County Commissioner with the hopes of replacing him with a new Commissioner who will do their bidding and help them further their agenda?  

When I started my research, I had the following questions:

  1. Has the Florida Department of Transportation acquired other parcels of land in Wakulla County?
  2. If so, did FL DOT make their decisions independent of input from the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners and Wakulla County Citizens?
  3. If prior purchases occurred, did the folks who are opposed to the High School realignment also oppose other purchases, or is their current opposition politically motivated?

After doing my homework, I must admit, I was surprised at the results.

I learned that the Florida Department of Transportation has acquired 22 parcels in Wakulla County since 2005.  Their acquisitions have included more than 321 acres.  I also learned that no opposition has been raised for any of these purchases with the exception of the two most recent purchases.  The two most recent purchases, equal 9% of the total purchases made by the State.  In land mass, the two most recent purchases equal 8/10ths of one percent of the land purchases made by the State.  So, less than one percent of the State's acquisitions, has generated 100% of the drama and controversy that we are now hearing.  Is this genuine concern or is this a conspiracy theory and political witch hunt?  

Here is a list of all acquisitions in Wakulla County by the Florida Department of Transportation since 2005.  I have given you the facts.  Decide for yourself!

Parcel Number Last Sale Size
 00-00-077-015-10705-000    2005-11-21   0.783
 20-3S-01W-000-04539-000    2006-03-27   4.76
 18-3S-02E-000-05984-002    2010-11-24   28.11
 07-3S-02E-000-05972-002    2010-11-24   23.66
 23-3S-01E-000-05416-ROW    2010-11-24   51.22
 23-3S-01E-000-05417-007    2010-11-24   3.29
 24-3S-01E-000-05417-006    2010-11-24   18.88
 26-3S-01E-093-05464-ROW    2010-11-24   30.95
 10-3S-01E-000-05162-003    2010-11-24   3.93
 31-2S-02E-000-05863-000    2010-11-24   9.21
 30-3S-02E-000-06005-ROW    2010-11-24   107.92
 31-2S-01W-000-04177-ROW    2010-12-29   30.86
 00-00-074-000-10223-005    2010-12-29   1.31
 00-00-074-345-10200-004    2011-05-18   0.5
 00-00-074-345-10200-005    2011-05-18   0.49
 00-00-074-345-10200-006    2011-05-18   0.5
 00-00-074-345-10200-007    2011-05-18   0.51
 00-00-074-345-10200-008    2011-05-18   0.91
 00-00-074-345-10200-002    2011-05-18   0.5
 00-00-074-345-10200-003    2011-05-18   0.5
 25-4S-02W-000-02097-007    2014-01-14   1.895
 25-4S-02W-000-02097-008    2014-01-23   0.715

One Response to “FL DOT Aquisitions – Genuine Concern or Conspiracy Theory and Political Witch Hunt?”

  1. Robert Roddenberry says:

    I have come to the conclusion that this controversy is not at all about the intersection and maybe not so much about Commissioner Moore, although they hate him and will smear him at every chance.  The first time Dr Kessler ran for Commissioner his primary issue was to stop all growth and development and the most important way to do this is to NOT 4 lane Highway 319.  Money has been appropriated specifically for this intersection and will be lost to Wakulla County forever if it is abandoned.  Since widening 319 depends on the connection of Tallahassee Airport and Coastal Highway it could be stopped permanently by not building this intersection.  Dr Kessler's group has convinced another property owner in a different location that he could get rich off the sale of his property to DOT.  Sad thing is they will drop him like a hot potato if they can delay the present intersection.  They would just as strongly oppose his location because they know widening 319 depends on connecting the Southern portion to Coastal Highway.

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