City pursues Park Service land transfer

On Thursday, City Manager John Regan attended meetings in Tallahassee before a panel of state agencies that makes recommendations on the use of state-owned land, according to reports received by Historic City News.

The City of St. Augustine wants to package a parcel of city-owned land together with state-owned property and transfer it to the National Park Service for the proposed Castillo Orientation Center.

The decision as to whether the city must replace the land to be transferred, or, pay its estimated $588,000 value, will be up to the Internal Improvement Trust Fund — which includes the Governor and his Cabinet.

However, Regan was said to have won preliminary support from the Florida Acquisition and Restoration Council to transfer the land which is located in the Colonial Spanish Quarter.

Regan acknowledges that “adjustments are needed” to accommodate the city’s Visitor Information Center, Colonial Spanish Quarter and other historic assets across a four-lane highway from our largest asset — the Castillo de San Marcos.

A study funded by the Paul S. Sarbanes “Transit in Parks” grant program aims to assess and improve the connection between the fort and the rest of the city; a major part of that study is input from visitors and residents as to how to accomplish that goal.

To participate in a brief survey and provide your opinions, you make complete a form available at the Visitors Information Center or complete the survey online by following this link.

The “Transit in Parks” grant program was authorized by Congress to enhance easy access and the protection of national parks and federal lands.

The next hurdles:

September 8th: Aides to the Internal Improvement Trust Fund meet

September 14th: Cabinet meets to make its decision.

Regan plans to attend both sessions.

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