By Chip Osowski

When business owner Bobby Read approached the Brooksville City Council about purchasing a municipal building at the base of the small Florida city’s water tower, he didn’t expect the water tower to come with it.

John Lee is a Brooksville business owner who says an apology isn’t enough.

Read discovered the mistake after the property had been sold to him for $55,000. The certified personal trainer intended to turn the building, which various city departments used for storage, into a personal training studio named Downtown Athletics.

City of Brooksville accidentally sells its water tower

But when he went to the county property appraiser’s office to get an address for his new business, the county told him he’d received much more than the building — several thousand gallons more.

The surprise purchase boiled down to a mix-up over the legal description for the property. Mark Kutney, the Brooksville city manager, says the building Read wanted to buy was never split off from the parent property where the water tower is based, even though city leaders were aware it was supposed to be.

For now, Brooksville mayor Pat Brayton confirmed that the city is out of troubled waters.

“The mistake happened, but you know, when the mistake happens, you just correct it and you carry on,” he said.


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