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School board member Tina Certain questions land purchase

Photo courtesy of Tina Certain

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

School board member Tina Certain has posted a video on Facebook that explains why she is still trying to stop the school district from purchasing 37 acres of land in Jonesville.

Carlee Simon’s letter to the editor expresses many of the same concerns with the purchase. Certain, Simon, and others who are opposed to the proposed deal point out that the negotiated sales price is double what the seller paid for the land, just over a year ago. They also express concerns about buying land during an economic downturn, especially when the appraisal price was based on the pre-pandemic market.

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In her video, Certain, who is an accountant, says that she submitted lists of questions to both appraisal companies, but they didn’t respond to her questions. She then called both companies, and she says they declined to address her concerns.

Certain is also concerned that Collier International represented both the school board and the seller in the transaction. She said that she asked school board staff these questions, and she has received “no information on that.”

She continues, “I don’t think, at this time, that the Alachua County School Board should make such a significant purchase… I don’t think today, right now, is the time… to purchase a 37-acre parcel of land for a school site for the cost of $3,680,000 during the current economic crisis.”

Simon shared links to Certain’s questions and to the appraisals:

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