COLLIER COUNTY - The Naples Zoo is a favorite attraction for visitors and residents. Now, there's a chance it could expand by 50%. But, taxpayers would pick up the bill.
22 acres of land adjacent to the zoo is up for sale. It was supposed to be used for a new senior living facility but investors backed out. The Executive Director of the zoo says now is the perfect time for Collier County residents to strike.
"I don't think we really want another shopping mall or development," says David Tetzlaff. "the zoo will be very environmentally friendly."
But, how much will it cost taxpayers?
"It could be as low as $5 to $10 a year, if that," says Tetzlaff.
Collier County leaders say the land could cost around $20 million. Taxpayers would own the land and the zoo would essentially take care of it.
The non-profit group, Trust For Public Land, will start polling residents next week to see if they support the project. If they do, Trust For Public Land will negotiate a price, then commissioners will decide whether to accept the bid or not.
Tetzlaff says he'd like to see the project on the November ballot.