One hundred eighty-five acres of undeveloped land sits behind the Crossings of Spring Hill shopping center. That land is all but land-locked. The owner can't develop it without an easement.
Spring Hill aldermen recently voted to buy the road leading to the land for $430,000 so it can be developed. Alderman Eliot Mitchell was one of three alderman who voted against it.
"Basically what you're doing is spending taxpayer money to settle a land dispute and benefit the property owner, I think it's corporate welfare, I don't have a problem saying that," said Mitchell.
Mitchell told Channel 4 News the city will have to scramble to find the money to pay for the road.
"We are looking pretty hard and deep to find the half million dollars to purchase that," said Mitchell.
Alderman Chad Whittenburg, who voted for buying the land, says the money is an investment that will pay big dividends.
"It's economic development and jobs, we have a chance to create tons of jobs at this development," said Whittenburg.
Mitchell says so far, the owner of the undeveloped land hasn't come up with concrete plans for the property
"The last time I checked, there weren't any plans submitted to the city to develop that land," said Mitchell.
Opponents of buying the land say they are not against development, they are against the city paying money to benefit private land owners. The vote by aldermen to buy the land was close. Four voted for it, three were opposed.
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