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Langley Bell 4H land battles continue

ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- The fight over what to do with the 1.6 million dollars after Navy Federal bought the Langley Bell 4-H property continues.  This time around, there is an internal struggle within the Extension Service.  Now some Escambia County Commissioners are trying to play peace makers between the two groups.

It's been nearly 2 years since Navy Federal brought land from the Langley Bell 4-H center for $3.6 million dollars.  Escambia County Commissioners wanted to know how the money will be spent after the purchase. 

$2 million was placed in an endowment fund for 4-H.  The other $1.6 million was reserved for 4-H to use for a new piece of property. 
Fast forward today, two groups within the extension service differ over how to spend the remaining $1.6 million.

"We've got one group asking us to build a building at its current location, and another group is looking for us to get land, both of them clearly will do programs for children" said Escambia Commissioner Grover Robinson.

Jacob Gilmore believes having an ample amount of land is critical to 4-H group's long-term future.  He'd like to see that money invested in the north end of the county where it's less developed.

"If they want to build a building on Stefani Road, I don't have a problem with that, but we need land to teach these young people how to farm, how to raise livestock" said Jacob Gilmore, 4-H Alumni.

Channel 3 News was unable to reach the other side Wednesday, but in a letter, Commissioner Robinson wrote last week, he says the other side wants to develop the Stefani site and focus its farming and environmental efforts to the south end of the county, closer towards the developed areas Gilmore feels that feels that will create problems.

"People are going to complain about hogs and the smell that sort of thing" said Gilmore.

Escambia Commissioner Steven Barry plans to bring a proposal to the next committee meeting on Thursday to help the two sides find common ground.