Story and photo by ADRIANNE WALLINE CAMPBELL
The DeFuniak City Council held its regular meeting on Feb. 14, 2022, at the Walton County Courthouse. Council member Bob McKnight was not present.
Mayor Bob Campbell read two proclamations:
• Florida Arbor Day in honor of Dr. Ralph Spires to be celebrated on January 28 of each year.
• Panhandle 211 Day, celebrating the outstanding effort put forth by those who work for and with this resource, to be remembered on February 11.
The 2021 Police and Fire Impact Fee Study presented by Joe Williams is to be continued for 45 days in order to hold a special meeting.
Chelsea Blaich, Executive Director of Main Street DeFuniak Springs, presented her annual report for 2021. There were nine new businesses, six of which relocated and three of which were new. They have an 86% occupancy rate. There were 62 events and had over 400 hours of volunteer service. In 2021 they were recognized as a nationally accredited program and received word that they are also accredited for 2022. They were nominated small business of the year for North Walton.
The consent agenda was approved.
• Main Street DeFuniak Springs will be hosting a parade of 15+ rare and restored tractors starting at North 5th Street and ending at South 7th Street.
• Main Street DeFuniak Springs will be hosting an outdoor farmers market on Baldwin Avenue from South 8th Street and South 9th Street. The event is scheduled for every Saturday from 3/19/2022 to 11/19/2022 from 7am to 1pm.
• First Baptist Church will be hosting an outdoor Easter Egg Hunt and Fellowship at Chipley Park with the area divided into 4 sections for different age categories, Saturday, 4/16/2022.
• A grant application was submitted to fund an architectural assessment of the Walton/DeFuniak Library. The grant was awarded by the Division of Historical Resources and required a competitive procurement to be issued. The city issued the procurement with responses due on Oct. 27, 2021. After review of the responses, staff brought forth a request to award the proposal to the most responsive responsible bidder at the Jan. 10, 2022, city council meeting. The council approved the award to Hammond Design Group and that resulted in a contract to be prepared and executed by both parties. The contract between the city of DeFuniak Springs and Hammond Design Group was approved.
The Walton High School Anchor Club has permission to use the title Miss DeFuniak Springs.
The agreement was renewed with the U.S. Air Force T-33 static display. The city has maintained this agreement since 1964.
Donald Graham requested a permit to have a special event/parade at Pat Covell Park. Council member Anthony Vallee made a motion to approve but wasn’t seconded. Motion failed.
Jeff Goldberg spoke concerning the Covid-19 testing to be done by The Grinder Group, as a special event. The request was denied.
Proclamation of May as the observance of National Preservation Month as established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Florida Department of Transportation notified CHELCO of its intent to purchase property for a multi-lane improvement project on U.S. 90 and U.S. 331. Therefore, the price for the CHELCO property has been reduced $75,000 in its contract with the city.
Council member/Mayor Pro-Tempore Todd Bierbaum requested a special meeting for airport growth.
Council member Kevin Crystal said that family members had asked that the approved name change for A. M. Johnson Street be changed to Anthony M. Johnson Trail.
Kim Wennerberg spoke of the need of more parking downtown as the business district continues to develop.