BILL IMFELD, INTERIM Executive Director Walton County Economic Development Alliance praised the DeFuniak Springs City Council over the influx of new aviation firms moving into the municipal airport.
By ALICIA LEONARD
The DeFuniak Springs City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting the evening of July 24, 2017.
The Council was all present and passed 5-0 meeting minutes from a special meeting held June 19, 2017.
The Council moved to approve their consent agenda items before moving on to their regular agenda and agenda request items.
Under citizen comments Bill Imfeld, Interim Executive Director Walton County Economic Development Alliance praised the Council over new companies coming to the DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport.
Under agenda requests, Joel Paul with Tri County Community Council requested help finding new office space due to their old building having structural problems. He told them “time was of the essence” concerning the move.
He asked if the Council would consider letting his office and food bank along with other area food banks use the old canning center building on Main Street if their office would pay for repairs for the building. The Council agreed and approved a 20 year lease for them to use the building and noted that they were concerned about a few local charities that had been using the building for storage and would talk with them about the decision.
Other requests approved included the Pilot Club and their request to use the community center to sell food plates to raise money for their endeavors and a request for a competition to be held at the skate park.
Two public hearing items were tabled for information gathering. The first was over a portable office building for CH2M at 209 North 4th Street. Citizens spoke against the variance due to other mobile homes either being restricted or removed from the area in the past. Councilmen Henry Ennis told the board he didn’t agree with the request because, “You don’t just change the rules because it might cost some money.” Ennis was referring to the fact that CH2M had agreed to pay for the portable unit if the council agreed but the city would be responsible for for a permanent structure if they denied the request and decided to build one instead.
The biggest discussion of the night centered around a resolution the Council passed on June 19, 2017 dealing with funding from the legislature for certain improvement projects
The Council had agreed to decline partial funding for a connector road project between U.S. 331 South and C.R. 280A on June 19, 2017.
City Attorney Clayton Adkinson told the Council he had been contacted the week prior by District 1 Commissioner – Vice-Chair William “Bill” Chapman (R), asking if the Council could hold off a few weeks on their resolution until he could bring the funding before the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to see if they might be interested in picking up the project instead of returning the funds to the state.
Councilwoman Janie Griffith made a motion to hold off on the resolution and possibly work with the county. With no second on the floor, instead of the motion failing, discussion was opened by Mayor Bob Campbell. After much discussion, some heated, and audience participation, the motion finally failed and also failed to receive any new motion so the resolution was not approved or disapproved, but unofficially tabled.
The Council agreed to set their 2018 Ad Valorem Tax Millage rate at 4.5 percent.
Council-members thanked the audience for attending and participating in their local government.