WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Walton’s needs are growing as fast as the population.
County commissioners are trying to keep the tax burden low by applying for grants to meet some of those needs. The county has received over $2 million in federal and state funding in this year’s budget.
The majority of the grant money will go to pending projects like parks and infrastructure.
“Excited for these opportunities,” said District Two County Commissioner Danny Glidewell.
In Fiscal Year 2022, Walton County will receive four grants to assist with the Choctawhatchee River, the Bay watershed assessment, traffic signals, and stormwater facilities.
“The total was $2,028,345,” said County Finance Director Melissa Thomason. “It helps with so many needed projects without having to utilize taxpayer funding. It just gives us more dollars to use towards more projects.”
These grants are coming from places like the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Transportation and BP oil spill RESTORE Act funds.
“A little over $16 million has come to Walton County for pot one direct component,” said County Environmental Coordinator Melinda Gates.
One of the largest Walton RESTORE Act projects is for the 331 sewer expansion. Which has already broken ground. It will be expanding across Freeport and DeFuniak Springs. But it is not the only project to bring a sizable economic impact.
“Main Street of course received a substation restore act grant,” said Glidewell.
“It’s going to determine what kind of businesses can come in, it’s going to put a plan in place so Main Street will implement it for the look of the area as well as bringing in businesses,” said Gates. “So far a total of $16 million has been spent on RESTORE Act funds.”
The county will be awarded yearly RESTORE Act money until the year 2031.
Currently, a Florida Recreation grant awarded a project which is in the works right now. It’s for the first of its kind, a new county park in Paxton.