WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — With the snip of those scissors, Walton County opened the door Wednesday to a new era of major growth.
“This project is 100% finished” outgoing Director of Walton County Economic Development Alliance Bill Imfeld said.
After nearly eight months of construction, the Highway 331 water and sewer project is complete with several miles of six-inch water main and several new sewage lift stations. The upgraded infrastructure should support new construction for years to come.
“Now it’s got the opportunity to have a lot of good quality commercial, some industrial or manufacturing, and then some more residential and that’s going to be a big boom to DeFuniak but it will also help Freeport and it helps Walton county,” Walton County Commissioner Danny Glidewell said.
This water and sewer system will have all the moving parts that builders will need.
“There’s been just a dearth of areas that they could go into because it didn’t have the things they need namely water and sewer,” Imfeld said. “Well, this one has water, sewer, electricity and natural gas runs right down 331 in front of it so all the things they need for doing it, with the exception of previous not having water and sewer, is all ready to go.”
The $4.7 million project was funded by grants from the United States Treasury and Triumph.
“The biggest challenge was getting all the paperwork done with both the treasury grant and then getting with Triumph but we had tremendous support from Triumph personnel,” Imfeld said.
“We had a couple of roadblocks that we had to overcome, but we got those overcome with the help of the treasury and help of the board and the city of DeFuniak and the county commission, everybody worked together to make sure this happened,” Glidewell said.
The county built the upgrades, but it’s going to be DeFuniak Springs city officials who will operate it.
“Now, it’s online, and the city of DeFuniak is going to manage and we’re very proud of it,” Glidewell said.
The next water and sewer expansion from the completion of this project will be the Northwest Florida Commerce Park at Woodlawn off 331 in DeFuniak.