Wakulla County gas station on hold as neighbors work to protect water quality

Commissioners voted to support land being purchased by Florida Forever
Posted at 9:35 AM, Sep 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-06 10:26:44-04
  • Wakulla county commissioners are currently looking at alternative solutions
  • For an area of land that has underwater caves which lead into Wakulla springs
  • People fear a gas station there could contaminate the water.

Commissioners are working to find other ways to protect land owned by a gas company.

Tuesday night, the Wakulla county commissioners voted unanimously to support land being purchased by Florida Forever or other organizations that practice conservation. Citizens in Wakulla county are happy about this next step.

"I highly commend them and I'm so appreciative that they're moving in a direction that makes the citizens happy because we weren't very happy about this gas station going in and potentially polluting all of our water" Says Wakulla resident Ana Garner

Commissioner Ralph Thomas says they are working on getting the land purchased for conversation use and that the owner of the land, Southwest Georgia oil company seems to be on board with this. I asked Thomas if the gas station company re-zoning could still happen.

"Really that's in the hands of the Apple care of the property owner and they're cooperating with us after our last meeting when I made that announcement we were having those conversations on a Monday night and Friday we were meeting with them with with the state and all the key players that's gonna help this work." Says Ralph Thomas

Commissioner Thomas says he thinks the land being purchased will be good for Wakulla county

"I think if we were working on right now, it's gonna be a win-win. Hopefully we're gonna end up with for the park not just a conservation and something where people can actually see chips hole there's a cave on the property there and I think people would like to see that I remember seeing that as a teenager we would climb down in that cave and so if we make that s park and preserve it it kinda preserves a little bit of the history of my childhood, and a lot of us have having experienced that so it'll allow the rest of us to get to experience that as well and keep it protected." Says Ralph Thomas

Although Wakulla citizens are happy about these next steps, resident Kellie Keys believes they're more work that needs to be done to protect the water.

"There is a national treasure so high I just think there's a real chance, for everybody not just Wakulla and it's a reason to work together to protect the springs." Says Kellie Keys

Wakulla county is still working towards a workshops for the springs ordinance. The last ordinance is was last updated in the 1990s.