Warm Mineral Springs closure expected to be temporary

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2014 5:10 pm

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Warm Mineral Springs will be closing its doors once again. The question is, for how long? After a special meeting Friday afternoon, some city leaders say it could be just a few days or weeks.

Sarasota County and the City of North Port still have some going back and forth, but it appears it won't take very long.

City leaders heard the latest from their attorney Rob Robinson Friday. "If everything comes back good, and there are no issues, we should be able to close in a couple of weeks if not sooner."

That means the city's deal to buy out the county's half of Warm Mineral Springs for $2.75 million is moving forward. But without the deal getting done before the current management contract ends September 1st, that means the springs will be closed starting Monday until it's done, says Mayor Jim Blucher. "Best case scenario is we could have it back open by the following Friday. Everything has to fall into place."

A handful of springs supporters came out Friday, like Elizabeth Nazarian. She’s happy the city is taking over, but not happy public access will once again be shuttered. "You are not supposed to close for one day. Not at all, you know."

City leaders like Linda Yates ultimately sent back the real estate contract with a few minor tweaks, but they don't expect any pushback on them. An environmental study came back saying no problems at the site. Now, it's just the time it takes for some things like surveys, and title insurance to come back.

"Very close to completing this. Both sides have been moving quickly on this to get it done. We have agreed to all terms. We are pretty much there," says North Port commissioner Linda Yates.

They’re hopeful to once and for all keep the springs -- which they bought for public access -- actually open for public access. "I think we can be open in two weeks. I feel pretty confident about that. Whatever we do, let’s make sure even if it costs us another day of the springs being closed, that we do it right and we don't have to do it again."

The city could have waived doing things like title insurance and surveys and perhaps avoided even a few days of closing the springs. But city leaders say due diligence was just too important.

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