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Time running out for Conservation Foundation to purchase Orange Hammock Ranch

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NORTH PORT, Fla. - "It's a possibility that this property could be lost..." said Christine Johnson.

But not without a fight. Johnson is the President of the Conservation Foundation. She's been working for months to buy this property.

"We're negotiating with the water district, Sarasota County, City of North Port, Peace River Water Authority and the State of Florida," said Johnson.

Why? Because all of those entities have money... and more specifically, money earmarked to help conserve land -- money Johnson desperately needs.

"We're away maybe about $10 million from our goal," said Johnson.

Bad news, considering the deadline is fast approaching. 

"The owners are giving us some clues that they are willing to extend if we show significant movement. Those two words are a little bit... vague," said Johnson.

What's not vague is the pushback for buying the land.

"There is limited opportunity for available property to develop commercial," said Bill Gunnin, President of the North Port Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber of commerce has said in the past that conserving the land would be a waste of valuable land.

"Sarasota wants to grow. If it want's to grow it has to have portions of property that can maintain development.".

The property has never been developed, largely because it's home to the largest supply of fresh drinking water for the City of North Port.

While the Conservation Foundation sorts out the of the owner's offer of more time, they're still mindful of the deadline, which comes up October 4th.