From Louis E. Svehla, Public Information Manager, Board of County Commissioners
On March 29, District 3 Commissioner Mike Barker met with County Public Works Project Manager Buddy Wright and Engineer Anna Hudson, DeFuniak Spring City Council Member Todd Bierbaum and Dewberry Associate Vice President Cliff Knauer to discuss the process of moving forward with the Walton Road Sidewalk Project.
During the February 9, 2021 Board of County Commissioners Meeting, Barker discussed the growth and safety issues on Walton Road and recommended a sidewalk system be installed for the safety of the children and community. He suggested a bike path also be considered.
Barker requested the BCC to direct engineering staff to perform studies to determine what the needs and costs would be to complete a project. Also as part of his motion, Commissioner Barker requested that the County allocate $132,335.17 go towards the project from funds were made available from a recent BP settlement that the County had received. The motion was approved by the BCC by a vote of 5-0.
On March 22, City Council Member Bierbaum requested funding from the City Council during their regular meeting to assist in the construction of the project. With Commissioner Barker on hand, the DeFuniak Springs City Council voted to approve the expenditure of $100,000 for the future construction of the project.
Currently, between the BCC and the City of DeFuniak, approximately $232,000 is allocated for the project.
During the March 29 meeting, those in attendance discussed the need for a sidewalk and multi-use path on Walton Road due to the location of 3 schools in the area. Additionally, discussion was had regarding the importance of developing interconnectivity to address any future growth in the area.
Current discussions involve the potential installation of a sidewalk on the south side of Walton Road between State Road 83 and 20th Street. In addition, discussion was had regarding the potential installation of a multi-use path on the north side of Walton Road.
Following a continued meeting onsite, plans were made for a survey to be conducted by Dewberry regarding the potential for a project, a cost analysis and to determine a timeframe for completion.