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Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - October 25, 2016
October 25, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #31


Subject
Winston Tract Lease

Briefings
None

Contact and/or Presenter Information
Charlie Hunsicker
Director, Parks & Natural Resources Department


Action Requested
Authorization for the Chairman to execute lease agreement with the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection for the Winston Tract (52 acres).

Enabling/Regulating Authority

F.S. 125



Background Discussion

Pursuant to Resolution R-15-187 adopted on November 17, 2015, the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department (PNR) is requesting the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approval and execution of Lease Agreement number 4787 between Manatee County and the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida. 

The Lease Agreement is for the property located north of SR 64 and south of Robinson Preserve described as the Winston Tract, containing 52 acres, more or less.  The Lease Agreement if for a period of fifty years with an annual fee of $300.00.  The Parks and Natural Resources Department desires to assume management of the Winston Tract in order to perform habitat improvements that will benefit the property and facilitate habitat improvements associated with the Robinson Preserve Expansion Project.

County legal staff have reviewed the Lease Agreement with their review resulting in acknowledgment as acceptable by the Parks and Natural Resources Department staff or having changes made to the document prior to what has been provided for BCC review.  As noted in the legal review by the County Attorney’s Office, there is concern regarding the following:

·         “Section 13 includes language requiring that certificates of insurance be executed by the State’s Chief Financial Officer.  This appears to be geared towards transactions between FDEP and other state agencies or special districts.  I have provided alternative language that reflects the County’s practice of requiring its insurance agent to execute such certificates.”

Prior to final execution of the agreement, PNR staff will request a revision to the Lease Agreement language regarding certificate of insurance as recommended by Bill Clague.

  • “The RLS does not describe in detail the work to be carried out on the property.  Please recognize that under the Lease, FDEP has the unilateral right to terminate without cause, which could result in the work becoming the property of the State.  (This may or may not be a concern, depending on the nature of the work.)”

In the application to the State for the Lease Agreement, County staff included detailed information on PNR’s intended use for the property.  In the event that the state terminated the agreement and assumed ownership of the work on the site, it would not be of consequence as work planned for the site consists of habitat improvements and will not include structures or other improvements of monetary value.

  • “The notice provision (Section 24) includes The Nature Conservancy.  Neither the Lease nor the RLS explains its interest in the property.  The RLS explains that staff recognizes the need to obtain consent of the Board of Trustees, post-execution, in order to carry out the work.  Please also take into consideration any third-party rights The Nature Conservancy may have, and any consent that may be required from it, in order for the County to proceed.”

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a former owner of the site, transferred the property to the State by means of a Quit Claim Deed in 1986.  The Quit Claim Deed included conditions for management of the property in order to preserve the site in a natural state. County PNR staff has provided detailed information to the State and TNC regarding the planned habitat improvements and uses for the property associated with the Robinson Preserve Expansion Project.  In the application to the State for the Lease Agreement, County staff included detailed information on PNR’s intended use for the property and a letter provided by TNC Florida Chapter Executive Director stating the County’s planned use for the Winston Tract is in compliance with the quit claim deed.

This Lease Agreement will facilitate PNR staff assuming management of the Winston Tract.  This will result in increased quality and protection for natural habitats on the property and will allow necessary work to be completed for maximization of habitat improvements associated with the Robinson Preserve Expansion project.   The county would seek grant opportunities including RESTORE Act funds for needed improvements.



County Attorney Review
Formal Written Review (Opinion memo must be attached)

Explanation of Other


Reviewing Attorney
Clague

Instructions to Board Records
Return signed copy of Lease Agreement (#4787) to Damon Moore, Environmental Program Manager, Parks and Natural Resource Department, for transmittal to state for countersignature.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
$300 (PNR General Fund, Acc#0010012800)

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
$300.00 per year


Attachment:  A - 29114 Lease No 4787 OAL2 - Other Agency Lease-Conservation Purposes (DND Approved 6.28.16) SECURE.pdf
Attachment:  RLS_memo_Clague_2016.pdf
Attachment:  Lease Agr - CAO Comments 9-23-16.pdf