Wakulla golf course purchase calms wastewater debate, for now

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – A clearer picture of the immediate future of Wakulla County wastewater treatment emerged Monday evening, after county commissioners voted unanimously to buy the Wildwood Country Club and use the extensive golf course as a site for spraying treated wastewater.

The move came after the county was told by engineers that a separate, more controversial site was a non-starter.

“It’s great to see,” said Gil Damon. He sharply criticized the county’s actions this year, but said he could live with the result.

“They did it after exhausting all other options, but they did the right thing,” he said.

Criticism has emerged after the county bought nearby land for $ 98 for $ 500,000, hoping to turn it into a destination for treated sewage.

But from the start, some residents of Wakulla County feared the geological features of the site would make it unsuitable for relocation. They feared it could harm the local environment, including in Wakulla Springs.

For much of the year, county officials supported the decision to explore the site. County administrator David Edwards said early reports indicated the plot was promising, prompting the purchase.

“We had done some preliminary due diligence that said it could work,” he said.

But recently, more in-depth studies prompted the county to drop the proposal.

“That’s when we found out it could work, but it wouldn’t support the amount we wanted, so the cost-benefit ratio isn’t there,” he said. .

Damon always questions the process: “If they had done the assessments first, we wouldn’t be in this fiasco.

But Edwards said he wouldn’t change the way the process went.

Now, the Wildwood Country Club is expected to accommodate 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day starting this month.

But even that is just the start, Edwards said.

“It suits him today, we need to have more in the future,” he said.

Edwards said there are still a few hurdles to clear before the county can close the golf course, but it could happen before the end of the year. The purchase price is approximately $ 1.4 million.

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