A $4.8M Destin Crosstown Connector Received Stamp of Approval

Destin, Fla. - A Destin Crosstown Connector has been in the works for sometime now. The problem was, where would the money come from? Okaloosa County Commissioners are confident that they have a good solution and a way to fund it.

Thanks to recent legislative changes, the proposed $4.8M Destin Crosstown Connector can be funded through the use of tourist development taxes but, two things must happen first.

First, they must amend the tourist development plan. Then, an independent analysis must prove it's an adequate use of tourism funds, along with getting approval from the Florida Department of Transportation.

"We'll have no problem meeting this. It'll be proven that this will help the traffic move and thus help tourism," explained Kelly Windes, Okaloosa County Commissioner, District 5.

Traveling through Destin along Highway 98 can be a nightmare but, the proposed connector will be just north of 98, connecting Benning Drive to Beach Drive.

"The engineers say, it will relieve some of the traffic on Highway 98. As you know, is over burdened and so any relief we can get will be helpful," said Commissioner Windes.

It will be financed over a three year period from the Tourist Development Council's money; which won't cost the citizens or county a dime.

"This Crosstown Connector will especially allow locals to get home and not be caught up in the traffic, so it's a real critical infrastructure need for our community," shared Gary Jarvis, Mayor of Destin.

"It's a great move towards cooperation with the County to help the south end with these TDC funds that up until now have been unavailable," said Commissioner Windes.

In a unanimous vote, Okaloosa County Commissioners approved to reimburse the City of Destin through tourist development taxes. 

The next step will be to finalize an independent analysis. Then, the permitting process begins.

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