4-H Kids To Decide $3.6 Million Sale Of Langley Bell To Navy Federal
February 28, 2012
Navy Federal has offered $3.6 million for the Langley Bell-H Center property in Beulah to expand, but the future of that sale could depend on the vote of a few dozen children ages 8 to 18.
The children make up the 4-H County Council. Under the property deed, the Council must approve any sale of the 240 acres.
Escambia County is willing to spend well over a million from local option sales tax monies to build the 4-H’ers a new facility at the Escambia County Extension Office on Stefani Road in Cantonment. The facility would include a new building and pond on the 23-acre parcel.
Monday, member of the 4-H Council and their parents toured the land for the proposed facility at the Extension Office before a discussion meeting.
“They would be paying us to come here and build a building, and we wouldn’t be getting any more land,” 4-H Council member Eliza Eligio said. “We would not be benefiting from really from doing that.” She said that despite the jobs that might be at stake, she’s not convinced that the land sale to Navy Federal is good idea.
And that was the apparent sentiment among most of the 4-H Council members Monday as they participated in a question and answer session moderated by an attorney hired by the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce.
The 4-H Council, comprised of delegates from each of the county’s 20 plus 4-H Clubs, will vote on the proposed sale in March.
Navy Federal has said that if the sale is rejected, new jobs for the company in Escambia County would be difficult. The company is adding about 400 jobs per year, soon reaching capacity at their current 65-acre campus.
Escambia County Commissioners are trustees of the land, according to the deed. Commissioners could possible overrule the 4-H Council should they vote against the land sale, but that’s not totally clear.
4-H supporter Dr. M. Langley Bell, Jr. donated 400 acres to Escambia County for the Langley Bell 4-H Center. The center, which is now 240 of the original 400 acres, is used for events such as 4-H camps, retreats, timber projects, livestock projects, and as a meeting site for extension agents. The Langley Bell 4-H Center comprises about 240 acres of the original 400 acres. Four cabins, a kitchen, meeting hall, nature trails, forestry and livestock educational areas, barns, pastures, a 5-acre lake, and a campfire circle are part of the 4-H center’s learning environment.
Pictured top: Navy Federal wants to purchase the The Langley Bell 4-H Center and their 240 acres in Beulah for $3.6 million. Pictured top inset: 4-H Council members tour the proposed 23-acre site of a new Langley Bell 4-H Center on the site of the Escambia County Extension Office in Cantonment. Photos courtesy WEAR 3 for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.