Wakulla County will spend approximately $1.4 million on the purchase of Wildwood Country Club in Crawfordville, Fla. Officials originally paid $500,000 for another plot of land, hoping to transform it into a treated wastewater destination, but residents worried that site’s geological features made it unsuited for the move. Wildwood CC is now set to welcome 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater a day as soon as this month.
Wakulla County (Fla.) commissioners voted unanimously October 18 to purchase the Wildwood Country Club in Crawfordville, Fla. and use the sprawling golf course as a treated wastewater spray site, WCTV reported. The move came after the county received word from engineers that a separate, more controversial, site was a non-starter.
“It’s great to see,” said Gil Damon, who has been a vocal critic of the county’s moves this year but said he can live with the outcome. “They did it after exhausting every other option, but they did the right thing.”
C+RB first reported on the possibility of using Wildwood in April 2021.
Critics emerged after the county purchased another plot of land for $500,000, hoping to transform it into a treated wastewater destination, WCTV reported. But early on, some Wakulla County residents worried the site’s geological features made it unsuited for the move. They feared it could harm the local environment, including Wakulla Springs.
For much of the year, county officials stood behind the decision to explore the site, WCTV reported. County Administrator David Edwards said initial reports indicated the plot was promising, prompting the purchase.
“We had done preliminary due diligence that said it could work,” Edwards said.
But recently, more extensive studies prompted the county to leave the proposal behind, WCTV reported.
“That’s when we found out it could work, but it wouldn’t handle the amount we wanted it, so therefore the cost-benefit ratio is not there,” Edwards said.
Edwards said he wouldn’t change how the process has unfolded, WCTV reported. Now, the Wildwood Country Club is set to welcome 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater a day as soon as this month.
But even that is just a start, Edwards told WCTV.
“That suits it today, we have to have more going forward,” he said.
Edwards said there are a few more hurdles to clear before the county can close on the golf course, but that could come before the end of the year, WCTV reported. The purchase price is about $1.4 million.