WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Walton County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the purchase of the 400-foot parcel of beachfront land off San Roy Road to the tune of $9.5 million.
“The property will now belong to the county… That property will be here forever and ever, and we will be able to get good use out of it,” Walton County Commission Chairman Michael Barker said. “It will be good for residents and it will be good for visitors as well. My dad used to tell me a long time ago they’re not making any more dirt so get all of it you can so especially when it’s beach sand it’s a very valuable commodity.”
The initial price of the property was $18 million, but at the last commission meeting, the seller proposed the county pay $10 million, and the other $8 million would be considered a charitable donation for tax purposes.
The final sale landed at $9.5 million for the county and $8.5 million in tax credit.
“It’s just striking that area where you feel like it’s a benefit for the county,” Barker said. “A number, we had to get to the right number. We still had a little bit of reservation about it but we felt like we answered enough questions about the tax credit on it to satisfy us to move forward with the purchase.”
Residents were pleased to hear the sale had been approved.
“It benefits the entire Walton County, not just South Walton,” resident Barbara Morano said. “These dune lakes are worldwide nationally recognized. The educational component to our students is just huge. The economic impact is huge, it’s a rare coastal dune lake.”
The county will now begin the process of making the area a proper public beach access.