District 4 Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC), Sara Comander, is focusing more attention on the problems of borrow pits throughout the county. Comander recently held a meeting of county department leaders to discuss the environmental challenges of county owned borrow pits.
Borrow pits are holes created by people who remove dirt from one location to use at construction and landscaping sites, roads and for other projects. Borrow pits can then become an environmental problem through erosion if not reclaimed for other purposes. “We addressed all of the county pits at our recent meeting,” says Comander, who met with Planning Engineer Greg Graham, Environmental Planner Scott Caraway, Public Works Director Lyle Seigler and County Administrator Ronnie Bell. “However, we focused most of our attention on the Rock Hill pit,” she says, referring to the county owned pit on Rock Hill Road in central Walton County.
Comander is discussing other uses for the Rock Hill pit to mitigate the pit’s erosion by considering a reclamation plan for review by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Some suggestions during the recent meeting include reshaping the pit into a recreational area and for use as an educational site for school children once vegetation is planted.
“The Rock Hill borrow pit is only one of many pits throughout Walton County that need to be addressed for safety and environmental concerns,” says Commissioner Comander. “Our hope is that we can come up with a county-wide solution to how borrow pits can be reclaimed for other useful purposes that are more environmentally beneficial to our communities.”