Phil Emmer: Revive Glen Springs


Published: Monday, January 14, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 11, 2013 at 11:48 p.m.

On Dec. 23, The Sun carried an article by environmentalist Robert Knight recommending the restoration of Glen Springs to its original beauty and recreational values, while also retrieving its value as a water source (and resource). I do not know him, but the article hit a home run and could go a very long way in improving Gainesville's water resources as he suggested, but could even become much more beneficial to the community as a recreational area.

Now the city has an excellent opportunity to realize that suggestion at little or no cost by taking advantage of Nathan Collier's offer to purchase for $1 million a parcel of property adjacent to his home off Northwest Eighth Avenue for privacy purposes. When Emmer Development Corp. developed Raintree (a community on Northwest 16th Avenue) we knew the land at the south end of the property was wetlands and at the suggestion of Mayor Gary Junior (now deceased) offered it to the city of Gainesville. The city accepted the offer.

Collier's offer to buy a portion of that land provides an unusual opportunity for the city to not only rejuvenate Glen Springs, but provide a beautiful area for recreation and relaxation that would benefit thousands more adults and children each year than the wetlands that my company gifted to the city without recompense.

I strongly support Knight's suggestion, and hope the City Commission will accept Nathan Collier's offer.

In this case, the acquisition of this property can become a wonderful destination for those who live in this area where many apartments exist and also near residential areas in this general vicinity. In the long run, it could become one of the best actions the city could take; a recreational benefit beyond most anything the city now has in this area.

Phil Emmer lives in Gainesville.

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