By DOTTY NIST
Walton County Clerk of Courts Martha Ingle has agreed to take over the issuance of beach driving permits.
Plans to transfer this authority from the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office, which currently handles it, to the clerk’s office by April 1 were discussed at the Feb. 22 Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) regular meeting.
The Walton County Beach Driving Ordinance had been revised on Feb. 8 to provide for the issuance of an additional 150 permits by lottery, and, also as part of the revisions, relaxation of eligibility requirements to allow applications not only from county property owners but, for the first time, from county registered voters who are not property owners.
Later during the week of Feb. 8, Walton County Tax Collector Rhonda Skipper had notified the BCC that her office would be relinquishing issuance authority for the beach driving permits due to the operational expenses to be involved.
Due to the change in parties issuing the permits, it will be necessary to again revise portions of the beach driving ordinance for that aspect only. County commissioners will hold a March 8 public hearing to approve those changes. This will be in conjuction with the BCC meeting on that date, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and take place at the South Walton Courthouse Annex.
Until April 1, the tax collector’s office has agreed to continue to be responsible for issuance of these permits, and the office has pledged to work toward a smooth transition in this matter.