For property tax purposes, the Gardner property is identified by the Town as a “water view” property not a “water front” property. Upon closing on the purchase, LFSF will make a commitment to pay property tax as assessed.
Our Mission Statement:
“Land for Southport’s Future is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created and staffed by Southport residents. Our goal is to establish, through individual tax deductible gifts, a sustainable fund to buy and preserve land on Southport Island for use by the entire community and the generations who follow.”
The role of Land for Southport’s Future, is to raise funds, to purchase and preserve historically and culturally significant Southport land and resources and to make these spaces accessible to the community. LFSF properties will be owned by a Southport based community entity, not the Town. Property purchased by LFSF will be managed by a community based Board of Directors, allowing the people of Southport to have an ongoing voice in their Island’s future.
How will public ownership of Ruth’s House be of value to the community?
Instead of watching this property remain empty or be sold for private development, many in the Southport community are asking that “Ruth’s Place” be used as a space that will inspire fellowship, creativity and learning, that can host educational opportunities, and that can become a place where children and adults can celebrate together the value of community.
“Ruth’s House” will be a center for art and science education, a valuable asset for our community, our region, and our State. Our Southport Central School students can use this new coastal classroom space, participating in hands on enrichment opportunities that will enhance their current curriculum and potentially offer learning experiences not possible in a traditional classroom. We envision a very vibrant future for this part of our Southport Island coastline, preserving the environment that had inspired Rachel Carson’s research and writing.
In general, how will public ownership of land matter to the Southport community now and in the future?
We believe that by working together as a community, we can develop a plan to purchase historically and culturally significant Southport properties to assure:
• land and property management decisions will be made by the people of Southport,
• that all people will have permanent public access to our Island’s scenic coastline,
• our island heritage will be honored, Southport’s historic character and unique island culture will be preserved.
— now and for the generations that will come after us.
What is the fundraising goal in order to purchase the Gardner property?
The asking price for the Gardner property, the house and over three acres of land, is $849,000. Land For Southport’s Future’s initial budget calls for raising $900,000 for costs related to buying the property.
The Town has entered into a “Right of First Refusal” agreement with Land For Southport’s Future. Should the Town receive an acceptable offer from another party, LFSF has the right to match that offer plus one dollar. Our goal is to purchase the Gardner property as soon as possible.
A timely purchase of “Ruth’s Place” will have the added benefit of allowing the Town of Southport to substantially reduce its ten year $1,250,000 mortgage which it has held since purchasing the entire Gardner property, including the beach, in 2013. Currently, approximately $50 of every $1,000 in property tax paid each year by Southport land owners goes toward that loan repayment. Every October 1st the Town makes a payment to the bank, combined principal and interest, in excess of $153,500.
Please join with your neighbors, sharing your gifts and working together, to honor our island’s history and culture; to retain the community spirit that has in the past set Southport aside as a place where people know how to take care of one another. This is an important legacy well worth preserving!