By Reggie Connell, Managing Editor
Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson delivered the news of a counter-offer from the YMCA on the City’s attempted purchase of Camp Wewa at the June 2nd City Council meeting.
“We just met with the folks at Camp Wewa, and they did get an aerial survey done,” Nelson said. “We had it at about 50 useable acres and they’ve got it at 56.69 acres, which raises the value to $4.7 million.”
According to Nelson, the City will send these findings to Integra Realty Resources, the appraisal company the City hired that came away with a $4.2 million valuation, to see if they revise their figures based on the new information from the survey.
“They’re going to take a look and come back to us with a number,” Nelson told the City Commissioners. “We had initially offered the $4.2 million, and we’ll come back to the City Council with a number, and if it’s something we want to do, we’ll have another opportunity to have a second bite at the apple.”
The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 back in March to purchase Camp Wewa from the YMCA, which has owned the property since 1947. However, in 2020, it fell on hard times during the pandemic, and decided to sell the property.
“Three weeks ago [in January], I got a call from the YMCA…,” Nelson said back in February. “It was basically a courtesy call to let us know they were going to sell the property to a developer and thought I would want to know. I just said wow. Having been there I knew how amazing this property was. I asked them to give us a couple of weeks to do our due diligence and maybe we can come up with a plan to purchase.”
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.