Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) April 26 regular meeting and April 28 land use meeting [PREMIUM]

A yes vote was to approve the motion.

Regular meeting

Citizen request by Brian Peterson and students of Ohana Institute for approval to adopt Morrison Springs for a long-term service project which would include a bathroom mural, signage around the springs, and the addition of trash cans and hiking trails.

There was a motion by Anderson to move forward with the request and have legal counsel bring back an agreement for the project.

The motion was approved unanimously: Tony Anderson-yes; Mike Barker-yes; Danny Glidewell-yes; Boots McCormick-yes; Trey Nick-yes.

Request by Jeff Goldberg, Walton County Emergency Management director, for approval of a resolution proclaiming May 1 – 7 as Hurricane Preparedness Week.

There was a motion by Anderson for approval of the resolution.

The motion carried unanimously.

Update by Tony Cornman, interim county administrator, on negotiation for purchase by the county of the McHenry Building at 524 U.S. 98 East, DeFuniak Springs, with the property owners having declined the BCC’s recent offer of $600,000 and having requested $700,000.

There was a motion by Glidewell to buy the property for $700,000, with a revision in the acceptance date from April 12 to April 29 together with revision of the price offer.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Request by Cornman to advertise a request for proposals (RFP) for options from different companies for paid parking that would be provided in designated areas along CR-30A and Scenic Gulf Drive and at designated beach accesses.

Carrying unanimously after BCC and staff discussion and public comment was a motion for approval by Glidewell.

Request on behalf of the city of Paxton for approval of an interlocal agreement providing for the county to furnish in-kind services and financial assistance to the city for the City of Paxton Health Clinic in an amount not to exceed $23,200 annually.

There was a motion for approval by Glidewell conditioned on the city obtaining a $496,100 USDA grant for the $902,092 project and subject to the BCC determining whether or not to fund the remaining $405,992 to the city outright, in full, as part of the next budget cycle rather than providing the $23,200 annual payment on a 30-year, 2.5-percent USDA loan taken out by the city.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Request by Cornman for approval of a resolution for payments to eligible retirees under the Florida Retirement System (FRS) health insurance subsidy, providing for the county to make contact with retirees and address instances of retired county employees not having received the county matching portion of the subsidy.

A motion for approval by McCormick carried 4-0: Anderson-yes; Glidewell-yes; McCormick-yes; Nick-yes; Barker-abstaining due to a conflict.

Presentation by Brian Kellenberger of the Walton County Tourism Department of recommended quote by SearchWide Global for search services to fill the vacant director of tourism position, SearchWide Global having been one of two companies responding to the county’s Invitation to Quote (ITQ) for these services.

There was a motion by Glidewell to reject bids for services and to have Walton County Human Resources advertise in the normal manner to fill the position.

The motion was approved unanimously after BCC and staff discussion and public comment.

Request by Melissa Thomason, chief financial officer, for approval of a housekeeping item, allocation of the $10 million standard allowance of Walton County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fiscal Recovery Funds as revenue loss for the provision of general government services as allowed by a final rule by the U.S. Treasury effective April 1.

A motion for approval by Glidewell carried unanimously.

Presentation by Kellenberger of a $3.4 million contract for county purchase of two parcels totaling approximately three acres and located in Eden Estates at the mouth of Peach Creek and the Intracoastal Waterway. The parcels had been brought to the tourism department by a local realtor and, as bayfront property, were included on the county’s list of potential property purchases.

Approved unanimously after BCC and staff discussion was a motion by McCormick to deny the contract. The vote resulted in failure of the proposed contract.

Request on behalf of the tourism department to approve including the planned Camp Creek Right-of-Way Improvement Project in the tourism department Beach Operations budget.

The request was approved unanimously after BCC and staff discussion and public comment.

Public hearing on a resolution to amend the 2021-22 fiscal year budget and bring forward $100,000 in Sidewalk Fund reserves for the ongoing Walton Road Sidewalk Project, with $37,000 to go to a change order on the current contract with Gum Creek Farms on the project and $63,000 to go to completion of all remaining phases of the project by in-house personnel.

A motion by Glidewell to approve the resolution carried unanimously.

Public hearing on a resolution to amend the 2021-22 fiscal year budget to bring forward $700,000 from General Fund reserves to purchase the McHenry Building (as approved earlier during the course of the meeting).

A motion for approval of the resolution carried unanimously.

Public hearing on an ordinance providing for levy of a one-cent sales surtax in Walton County unincorporated areas and municipalities, in accordance with and to finance transportation infrastructure as set forth in Florida Statutes Section 212.055(1), requiring approval by a majority of the electors of Walton County in a referendum to be placed on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot.

Approved after BCC and staff discussion and public comment was a motion by McCormick for approval of the ordinance.

Request by Michael Lynch, Walton County Code Compliance manager, to consider an ordinance repealing and replacing Ordinance 2011-01, thereby revising Walton County Land Development Code Chapter 20, Traffic and Motor vehicles, which includes parking regulations, in its entirety.

There was a motion by McCormick to move forward with this ordinance replacing and repealing Ordinance 2011-01. The motion was later revised to specify the inclusion of Inlet Beach for proactive enforcement of the ordinance by Walton County Code Compliance.

Following BCC and staff discussion and public comment, the motion was approved unanimously.

Request and motion by McCormick to reconsider previous action on Stone Labs, which had been leasing county-owned space at Freeport Business Park and for which the BCC had previously determined the lease for the space would not be renewed.

The motion to reconsider carried unanimously.

Proposal and motion by McCormick to accept an offer by Stone Labs providing for the lab to remain in the county-owned space up until June 30 and pay Walton County $216,000 for rent, including previously-unpaid rent.

The motion was approved unanimously with the understanding that the county would take possession of the space leased by Stone Labs on June 30.

Citizen request by Terry Ellis for the county to approve Steelefield Road to be placed in Walton County Code Compliance’s Proactive Compliance Program.

There was a motion by Anderson to do so.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Request by Mac Carpenter, county planning and development services director, to approve and authorize the BCC chairman to sign a task order with DRMP, a firm providing continuing engineering services to the county, for professional engineering services in connection with Walton County Planning and Services development order applications, White Sands Application reviews, and single-family residential reviews. Carpenter said Dewberry had previously been providing these services but did not wish to continue.

A motion for approval by Glidewell carried unanimously.

Request by Carpenter for approval of an amendment to the Planning Fee Resolution and authorizing the BCC chairman to sign a fee resolution with amended fees. He explained that the amended/increased fees were a result of the change in engineering services to a different firm as discussed previously.

A motion for approval carried unanimously.

Request by Carpenter to schedule a workshop to discuss changing the county’s traffic mitigation program methodology.

There was a motion by Anderson to schedule the workshop for 2 p.m. on May 10 prior to the BCC regular meeting on that date.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Request on behalf of the city of Paxton for approval of an interlocal agreement providing for the county to furnish floodplain management review services to the city.

A motion for approval of the interlocal agreement carried unanimously.

Among items approved unanimously as part of the consent agenda were the following: appointment of Mark Holmes to fill the vacant seat on the Contractor Competency Board; acceptance of Lourdes Reynafarje’s resignation from the Design Review Board and appointment of Frank Greene to fill the vacancy; approval of the Walton County Tourism Department media plan for the 2022-23 fiscal year; approval of the tourism department Events Grant Program for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Deleted from the agenda was a request for a $400,000 modular building for the Walton County Health Department Coastal Branch for vaccination and testing.

Land use meeting

Request by Danny Garner, Walton County Code Compliance beach manager, for approval of a waiver allowing him to sign on the county’s behalf in order to provide training to the South Walton Turtle Watch Group on use of UTVs and ATVs.

A motion for approval by Glidewell carried unanimously.

Adoption hearing on the Destiny Worship Small Scale Amendment (SSA), a future land use amendment with rezoning application on behalf of Destiny Worship Center, Inc., providing for a future land use change from Public Facilities and Institutional to Mixed Use and zoning district change from Institutional to Coastal Center on 1.67 acres at 244 Holiday Road North in Miramar Beach. The requested amendment was due to plans for Destiny Worship to sell the property to a beach services company to house seasonal employees and for storage.

Carrying unanimously after BCC discussion and public comment was a motion for approval by Glidewell.

Request on behalf of BC Luxury Homes, L.L.C., for approval of the Sugar Sands Estates Plat, a replat of lots 20 through 28 of Sugar Sands Estates, located southwest of the intersection of U.S. 98 and Sugar Drive in Santa Rosa Beach. Occupying the eastern portion of the plat, the lots were proposed to be reconfigured with regard to common area and lot shape to improve marketability and access with no change in density or external impacts.

A motion for approval by Anderson carried unanimously.

The following agenda items were continued: Coconut Cay, at the request of the applicant, continued to the May 26 BCC meeting; Forest View Village Planned Unit Development (PUD) Amendment, at the request of the applicants in order to allow time for negotiations with their internal constituents, continued to the May 26 BCC meeting; Sanctuary Apartments Phase III, at the applicants’ request due to a death in their attorney’s family, continued to the June 23 BCC meeting; and Botanic Miramar Beach, continued by request to the May 26 BCC meeting.