Staff Report

The state budget includes $3.7 million for Conservation Florida to buy 224 acres at the intersection of U.S. 319 and Bloxham Cutoff, the site of a planned 16-pump gas station, car wash and convenience store located over the underground Chip’s Hole Cavern to flows to Wakulla Springs.

If Gov. Ron DeSantis signs off on the money, it would put an end to a long-running environmental controversy in Wakulla County.
Southwest Georgia Oil would do a land swap with St. Joe and build the gas station on the south side of the intersection where there are no known underground caves.
The 224-acre parcel, purchased from St. Joe, could be converted into a park by the county.
It was in January 2023 that divers with the Wakulla Karst Plain Project finally linked Chip’s Hole as a direct conduit to Wakulla Springs.
Hundreds of people from around the state turned out at a county commission meeting in sweltering heat in August 2023 to object to plans to build the gas station on the property. The county postponed the meeting citing the possibility of a property sale.