Commission Approves Land Swap For New Bratt Park

April 4, 2008

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The Escambia County Commission voted to approve a land swap that will bring a new community park to Bratt at their Thursday evening meeting.

District 5 Commissioner Kevin White said that the new park had been a “long time coming”, with plans having been in the works for about 10 years.

The county will trade 57 acres of mostly wetlands that county owns on Hanks Road for 13.19 acres at the corner of West Highway 4 and Bratt Road. The Highway 4 property is currently owened by Kale and Donna Schneider.

“I think this is a great thing,” White recently told NorthEscambia.com. “A park in that area has been needed for a long time. This has been 10 years in the making.”

The land swap will end up costing the county only about $9,000. That will leave about $141,000 currently budgeted in White’s discretionary Local Option Sales Tax funds to develop that park. In the beginning, that money will pay for land improvements, playground equipment and a walking trail. Softball fields are part of the ultimate plan for the park, White said. The county’s current Admendment 1 budget crisis will not effect the funding for the park since funds will come from the local sales tax monies.

“It will be a great asset for the community, and we expect the private sector will get involved and help too,” White said. “It provides another park in the north part of the county that the other board members have supported since I have been here.”

The new park will be located along Highway 4 between Bratt First Baptist Church and Northview High School. The land is currently an open area with just a few very small trees (pictured below). The aerial photo above shows the placement of the property.

The commission was expected to approve the land swap two weeks ago, but the vote was postponed due to a problem with the legal description of the property, White said.

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