Roll Call Walton County Board of County Commissioners March 13 regular meeting

March 13 regular meeting

All four current county commissioners were present, with the District 3 currently vacant.

A yes vote was to approve the motion.

The meeting began with news of a county employee who had been killed in a vehicle accident, with details to be provided later when available. There was a moment of silence for the employee and his family.

There was a proposal by BCC Chairman Glidewell to place deputies during business hours (18 hours per day) throughout spring break at the U.S. 331/Business 331 (CR-883) intersection in the Freeport area through an agreement with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO). Glidewell noted that there had been several serious crashes at the intersection within the last couple of months. He also reported that a sign had been placed on the CR-883 side of the intersection to warn motorists.

Glidewell requested a motion to pay the deputies who would be stationed at the intersection in order to prevent manpower shortages during this time.

There was a motion for approval by McCormick, seconded by Anderson, with Anderson noting that a number of people had been killed by accidents at the intersection—and that the state is in the process of putting in a traffic light at the dangerous intersection. He said putting in the deputies was a needed safety measure at this time.

Audie Rowell, WCSO chief of operations, indicated that the WCSO would provide all needed funding for the deputies during this time, with on-duty personnel to be used first and overtime and/or off-duty personnel then to be used only if needed to cover the hours that the deputies would be stationed at the location. He confirmed that payment of the deputies would come from the WCSO budget.

McCormick’s motion was approved unanimously, with thanks to the WCSO: Tony Anderson-yes; Danny Glidewell-yes; Donna Johns-yes; Boots McCormick-yes.

Request by Tony Cornman, interim county administrator, for direction on District 3 commissioner board and committee assignments in light of the District 3 BCC seat having recently been vacated by District 3 Commissioner Mike Barker.

Glidewell, currently serving as alternate on the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Board of Trustees, agreed to step up to represent the BCC on that board, and McCormick volunteered to then replace Glidewell as alternate.

Anderson agreed to appointment to the Value Adjustment Board to fill the position vacated by the former District 3 commissioner.

There was a motion by Anderson to approve the above two appointments. The motion was approved unanimously.

In additional discusssion, it was noted that an alternate was still needed for the Value Adjustment Board. McCormick agreed to serve as alternate on that board. The previous motion was amended to so state, and the amended motion was also approved unanimously.

Request by Chance Powell of Walton County Public Works Engineering to approve and authorize the BCC chairman to sign change order to contract with RBM Contracting Services for Grady Brown Park Phase III Improvements  Project increasing the contract amount $47,117 and increasing the contract time by eight calendar days. The request was due to additional work needed, including the addition of clean sand for the beach area, sodding of disturbed areas, installation of piles in front of restrooms to enable boats to dock without getting caught under existing pile cap, and repair of concrete on existing bulkhead and at base of park sign, with new completion date of project to be April 8.

A motion for approval by McCormick carried unanimously.

Request by Brian Kellenberger, Walton County director of beach operations, to approve and authorize the BCC chairman to sign change order to task order with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc,. providing for additional requirements for development order application for the Kellogg Nature Center Project, increasing the contract amount by $48,510. 

The cost increase was to pay for additional work due to the project having been determined to be a minor development rather than a less-than-minor development and resulting requirements for the application, including a stormwater memo to update the stormwater management plan, a new traffic analysis, updated survey, new engineering assessment, and photometric plan.

A motion for approval by McCormick carried unanimously.

Report and request for direction by Walton County Chief Financial Officer Melissa Thomason on the new state District 1 Medical Examiner’s facility for which five acres of land has been obtained in Santa Rosa County. An initial capital contribution of $750,000 is being requested from each participating county in the four District 1 counties.

There was a proposal by Glidewell for Walton County to approve funding for the new facility based on the share that Walton County uses the facility, 11 1/2 percent of the cases.

Approved unanimously after BCC and staff discussion and public comment was a motion to that effect by Anderson.

Request by Thomason to use $29,786 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to add the digitization of BCC commissioner minute books to the ongoing project to digitize official records and BCC minutes.

A motion for approval by McCormick carried 3-1, with Johns voting no and indicating that the funds could be put to better use for a higher-priority item or items.

Request by Thomason to award nonprofit agency grant funds for the 2023 fiscal year and direct staff to prepare related funding agreements. This was for the $20,000 allocated by the BCC in August 2022 for nonprofit agency funding.

Five applications for the funding were reported to met qualifications. These included: Freeport Christmas Angels – $522 to be used for the annual toy drive for disadvantaged children in the community; Friends of Topsail State Park – $3,896 to be used to fund public events in the park; Point Washington Medical Clinic – $5,194 to fund salaries and medical supplies to supplement operations while the clinic is constructing a new facility; Coastal Seniors of South Walton – $5,194 to fund personal expenses and program operations; and Council on Aging – $5,194 to be used for construction cost to re-open the meal service at the DeFuniak Springs Senior Center. Additionally, the Friends of the Freeport Library had requested $850 for a library reading program, with staff working with the library to get the latter program funded through the library budget.

There was a motion by Anderson to approve the funding as presented.

The motion carried unanimously.

Request by Thomason to approve and authorize the BCC chairman to sign liability policy documents with Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company for the Eagle Springs Golf Course.

There was a motion for approval by McCormick.

The motion was approved 3-0: Glidewell-yes; Johns-yes; McCormick-yes; Anderson-abstaining due to a conflict.

Request by Cliff Knauer and other members of the Friends of Scenic 30A for permission to submit an application for the National Scenic Byways Grant for the CR-393 Improvements Project, a shovel-ready Walton County road project.

A motion for approval by Anderson carried unanimously.

Request on behalf of Jakara, L.L.C., for approval of AA Salvage Small Scale Amendment (SSA) with Rezoning, providing for a future land use change from Rural Residential to Industrial and Extractive Uses and zoning district change from Rural Village to Heavy Industrial on five acres at 542 CR-1087 north of DeFuniak Springs. The request was to allow for the storage of vehicles from the adjacent auto salvage business on the property, which is under the same ownership.

Yielding a 2-2 vote following presentations, BCC and staff discussion was a motion for approval by Anderson: Anderson-yes; Glidewell-yes; Johns-no; McCormick-no. The tie vote resulted in failure of the proposal.

Second reading/adoption hearing for the Black Creek Estates Conceptual Planned Unit Development (PUD), a request on behalf of C&R Freeport Properties, L.L.C., for approval of a conceptual PUD master plan and overlay ordinance consisting of 161 single-family lots, residential appurtenances, and a primary conservation use on 87.3 acres located off Black Creek Boulevard and north of Joyce Lane, east of Freeport.

A motion for conditional approval by Anderson carried unanimously.

First reading for the Harvest Creek Conceptual PUD, a conceptual PUD and master plan and PUD overlay district consisting of 87 single-family lots, associated infrastructure, and conservation use on 91.97 acres on the south side of SR-20, just west of Bunny Lane, east of Freeport.

There was motion for approval by McCormick with conditions to not allow a requested sidewalk buy-out and to require future submittals to undergo major development review.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Request on behalf of Shivers Holdings, L.L.C., for approval of The Bluffs at Juniper, consisting of 361 single-family homes, 55 townhomes, and infrastructure on 104 acres located on the south side of Cat Island Road.

A motion for approval by McCormick carried unanimously.

Approved unanimously as part of the consent agenda was a request to add one full-time employee to the Office of Management and Budget.

The following agenda items were deleted at the outset of the meeting: Request to approve and authorize the BCC chairman to sign an interlocal agreement for governmental services with the city of DeFuniak Springs for management and maintenance of the playground, press box, bathrooms, field house, and field at Harbeson Field; and tax on short-term rental homes.