As the Walton Commissioners started their meeting, several items were added to the Consent Agenda. Commissioners agreed to designate $80,000 of District 5 Recreational Plat Fees to Helen McCall Park and $60,000 to Padgett Park. They also approved set-up of operations for newly elected Commissioner Bill Imfeld for the District 3 office in the amount of $26,268. They also agreed to donate three surplus computers to the Friendship House.
Walton County Health Department Administrator Holly Holt presented the core contract for the year, the service fee scale and asked to remove surplus property. The Health Department is a combination County/State operation. The Commissioners did not accept a staff recommendation to move human resources to the Clerk’s Office, rather agreed they need to continue and not make drastic changes until the new commissioners are onboard. They also approved an agreement with DeFuniak Springs to cover Building Inspection Services and discussed letters of credit based on collection of one for Windsor Estates. The question is if a contractor does not complete the infrastructure in a neighborhood, and the county collects on the letter of credit from the bank, how much do they have to do. Attorney Toni Craig said they only have to do as much work as the funds provide for. It was suggested the county move to a process where they require the infrastructure to be complete before the final platt is given.
TDC Director Dawn Moliterno said four beach access are actually being leased by the county from the government. She asked to proceed with Walton taking ownership. These accesses are already managed by the TDC and leased from the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM wants Walton to take the property, meaning the county would own it. There is a small cost of $100 for each parcel to cover administration fees. The commissioners approved several motions in order to meet the ordinance requirements. The accesses are Dune Allen, One Seagrove, Phillips Inlet and Walton Dunes. Several of these are areas the county is looking at building more parking.
The TDC also asked to change the agreement with Southwest Airlines and how the tax for marketing is used. This is in response to the airline no longer providing a leg to Orlando, putting them in breach of contract. The Airline has added a leg to Houston and St. Louis and agrees that 50% less can be spent on their marketing. The money can be used for another airline or airport and the TDC will bring back how it will be used back to the commissioners.
Commissioners also approved rolling over encumbrances for capital projects, approved lifeguard services with South Walton Fire District and agreed to designate Gulf Place as a beach neighborhood. Commissioners approved releasing a lien for a SHIP mortgage and a code enforcement fine lien for property that has been cleaned up.
Commissioners also met earlier in the day in a workshop session to discuss the RESTORE Act. This concerns money from the Federal Government as part of the BP Oil Spill. The commissioners are trying to decide which counties should work together in a consortium, or wait and let the state set it. There is also concern about the fair distribution of funds and who pays for the costs to administer. The workshop will continue next Wednesday at 9am.