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Breaking News: Apopka City Council votes 4-1 to increase offer to $4.7 million for Camp Wewa

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Breaking News:

By Reggie Connell, Managing Editor

The Apopka City Council voted 4-1 to increase its offer for Camp Wewa from $4.2 million to $4.7 million after a second appraisal revealed additional developable lands - thus increasing its value.

After a spirited discussion, Commissioner Doug Bankson was the lone dissenting vote.

"For me, going up another half million... that's money that was going to pay down the $4.2 million," said Bankson. "And when I look at the valuation, well I just struggle with it. I think it's being stretched to meet their side of things."

Mayor Bryan Nelson stressed the urgency of making an offer and the memories that will be made there.

"It's an amazing opportunity, and six months from now, it will be gone," Nelson said. "All the memories that were brought up at our fundraiser meet and greet... just an amazing day. Obviously, we want to break even, but if we go in thinking we're going to make money, then we're not doing it for the right reasons."

Commissioner Kyle Becker, who voted in favor of the offer, took issue with the idea the Camp might not be expected to operate at a profit or break-even level.

"I don't want to mix my messages. This thing needs to pay for itself," Becker said. "It's a tremendous asset and many people will want to use it. And I don't think it's a bad thing if we want to pay the operational costs through some sort of revenue offset."

The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 back in March to purchase Camp Wewa from the YMCA, which has owned the property since 1947.

Along with the purchase price, costs to upgrade the property to ADA compliance, convert well water to city water, and change its septic system to sewer would cost approximately $250,000, plus an additional $150,000 in improvements, according to an estimate by City staff. In total, an additional $3 million is expected to be paid by the City over the next five years for improvements, repairs, and operational expenses to the camp.

This is a breaking news story. A more detailed story will be published by The Apopka Voice in the coming days.

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