Tax increase to clean up defunct golf course in Seminole County
A community that has been fighting to turn a former golf course that's contaminated with toxins into a giant park is willing to pay for it.
Rolling Hills Country Club closed in 2014, and since then, the owner has considered developing the property.
But $1.5 million is needed to clean up arsenic and other contaminants in the soil and groundwater.
Now, Seminole County commissioners, with the blessing of three-quarters of residents, will tax them over the next 15 years to clean up the property.
The county will then buy the land and gradually transform it into a nature park with hiking trails.
"It's going to be a community place. Not just in this community, but anybody can come here and walk the trails and just enjoy being out in nature. That's what Seminole County is all about," Rolling Hills resident Susan Albershardt said.
According to the county manager, the county hopes to close on the nearly $4 million purchase of the property by the middle of this summer and begin the cleanup this year.
There is no timetable for opening the park.