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PSTA site will cost $5-million for Largo

Pinellas County's offer of $3.3-million was turned down by the transit authority.

By SHANNON TAN
Published December 6, 2003

LARGO - The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority has turned down the county's $3.3-million offer to purchase a portion of the PSTA headquarters on 49th Street.

That leaves Largo as the sole buyer for the 13-acre plot, which sits next to the city's wastewater reclamation facility.

Largo commissioners have approved paying $5-million for the property, which could be the site of a government services center or an expanded wastewater facility. But the city needs only 5 acres.

The county offered to buy the remaining 8 acres, a bid that the PSTA board rejected on Wednesday.

Largo will go ahead with its purchase, assistant city manager Henry Schubert said Friday.

"If we determine we don't need the entire site, we may be looking to see if someone would want to purchase or lease a portion," he said.

The PSTA uses the land for its administrative offices and a maintenance facility, but it is moving its headquarters to a new, $32-million site on Scherer Drive just south of Ulmerton Road. Its new facility should be open in 2005.

The PSTA board prefers that Largo work out an agreement with the county over the sale of the property.

"Most of the people on the board thought, "Why are we even involved because the decision had already been made to sell the property to Largo?' " said Largo commissioner Gay Gentry, who is on the PSTA board of directors.

The county intends to start talking to Largo soon "and see if something can't be worked out," said Keith Wicks, assistant county administrator.

- Shannon Tan can be reached at shtan@sptimes.com or 445-4174.

[Last modified December 6, 2003, 01:33:58]


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