With the mayor out, the DeFuniak Springs City Council held their meeting on Tuesday due to the holiday. The first to speak were a couple that wants to use the parking lot area of the community center to have an elephant come for a wedding. The pachyderm is said to be trained and has permits.
Dan Smith with the Walton County Habitat for Humanity asked the Council to donate a lot on Burdick and give a year to build a house. He said they have enough money to build and have a building permit ready to go. The build should happen in the spring and be done by the end of June.
The Council approved a fee waiver for the Chautauqua Building so the Walton Education Foundation can hold a Take Stock In Children event. This will be the Christmas celebration. Faye Leddon said they would like to give the kids a Christmas party. The event is being held at the Chautauqua Hall to make it extra special for the children.
James Ash, with Christmas Reflections, asked to use $3500 of reserves to help with additional needs this year. The Walton HIgh Chorus will hold a fundraiser at 331 and 90. The Council will provide a Christmas luncheon for the employees. The city will get a new police vehicle and have it converted to compressed natural gas. The Council approved a variance request for DeFuniak Hotel on HIghway 90 west for a porch and setbacks.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield did not raise rates and as Council member Mac Work made the motion to approve renewing the insurance he also made a motion to make a local company, Simerly-Airs, the agent of record. This was met with questions by the current agent of record, Kevin Locht with Corporate Benefits. Work said he has been trying to make the change since he was elected. Locht asked if they were going to give the job to another agent who has done no work on it. The motion passed.
City Finance Director John McQue’s last day will be this Friday. The city will again search for a Finance Director. The Council also found out Jayne Swift with CH2MHILL will be leaving to accept a position heading up a large expansion project in Crestview. Jason Dominic from Prichard Alabama will replace her as project manager. DeFuniak Springs was Swift’s first job as project manager.