DeFuniak Springs City Council discusses grants, hears airport update [PREMIUM]

CLIFF L. KNAUER, P.E., CFM – Dewberry Engineering gives update on airport progress.


The DeFuniak Springs City Council held its regular meeting on Oct. 10, 2022, at the Walton County Courthouse. 

Mayor Bob Campbell proclaimed Oct. 17 – 23 as Florida City Government Week. The city has a full week of events planned. The city has published a full list of events and activities, which was run in the Oct. 5, 2022 edition of the Herald – Breeze, and can also be viewed on the city’s website,  

Tim Sconiers was approved to serve with Council members Todd Bierbaum and Robert McKnight on the code/ordinance review committee. 

The council approved the request to schedule a public hearing to consider abandoning a portion of an undeveloped alleyway on the west side of Hwy 331 and abandon a portion of Spencer St. The date will be determined at the November 14, 2022, City Council meeting. Luke Walton Investments has requested the City abandon a 20’ wide undeveloped alley that is located west of Hwy 331 S just north of Myrtle Ave. They are also requesting the City abandon a 75’ wide right-of-way for an undeveloped street know as Spencer Street. This street intersects an undeveloped portion of Myrtle Ave. 

The Council approved seeking USDA for a Rural Business Development Grant for the Farmer’s Market which will be downtown. 

The Department of State has awarded a grant in the amount of $372,811 for the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood – Phase III project. The grant agreement outlines the requirement for a matching amount from the City of $80,704, along with an in-kind contribution of up to $12,499. 

Tim Parson of Liberty Partners said they had been looking at a USDOT Reconnecting Program Grant. The city may be able to benefit from this. From the USDOT: 

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the new Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) discretionary grant program, funded with $1 billion over the next 5 years. It is the first-ever Federal program dedicated to reconnecting communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure. Funding supports planning grants and capital construction grants, as well as technical assistance, to restore community connectivity through the removal, retrofit, mitigation, or replacement of eligible transportation infrastructure facilities.” 

Cliff L. Knauer, P.E., CFM – Dewberry Engineering gave an update concerning the airport terminal construction. They have used 17.3% of their time, today is day 104 of 600. They are 21.3% completed with work. They have completed $1,466,044 out of $6.8 million. The foundation has been poured; the CMU walls have been completed. (A CMU wall is a wall in which concrete masonry units (CMUs) secured with mortar or interlocked together are the primary construction material.) The electrical contractors, DeGraaf Electrical, are onsite installing the conduit, the plumbers, Northwest Florida Plumbing, are onsite installing the plumbing inside the slab. Gum Creek Farms Inc has completed putting down the lime rock for the taxi way. Paving is planned before Thanksgiving. 

Approval was given to extend the AC Watermain Grant. 

The City of DeFuniak Springs will be accepting sealed bids for chiller replacement for City Hall located at 1350 Baldwin Ave. DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433. A pre-bid meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. at 1350 Baldwin Ave DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433. At this time bid specifications will be distributed, and staff will be on site to answer questions. 

The City of DeFuniak Springs wishes to rescind Resolution 2021-21 and establish the following pricing for cemetery burial lots and columbarium niches within Magnolia Cemetery: 

• $1,750 per burial lot with perpetual care included in the purchase price of said lot; and 

• $515.00 for one 12-inch x 12-inch niche with the niche plaque cost and niche plaque installation at the city’s cost for cremation remains within Section 1527 Block J

• The City of DeFuniak Springs has determined that the Cemetery Work Permit fee will be established at $350

• The Burial Permit fee will be established at $500. 

• A Work Permit fee for on-site death date engraving onto monuments will be set to $50. 

• A fine set at an additional $500, if a permit is not obtained prior to work being commenced in Magnolia Cemetery. 

• No fees will be charged for lot work permits unless work is contracted. 

• Effective October 10, 2022

The Council approved the EMS Interlocal Agreement is the agreement between the City and Walton County Commission for the Certificate of Convenience and Necessity. They agreed fire-based EMS service is needed in the city limits of DeFuniak Springs. 

Sandra Spann, Resources for Human Development (RHD) requested the fees be waived for their renting of the Community Center February 9th & 10th, 2023, for their for 25th Anniversary Celebration for Resources for Human Development. The Council tabled the request for the next meeting.