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DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — Walton County commissioners have rejected bids from two true estate professionaIs interested in getting portion of the county federal government staff members to provide guidance on property acquisition as section of a county exertion to go absent from what had been termed a “wild, wild West” approach to considering purchases.

Commissioners on May well 10 turned down the proposals, which experienced been pared down by the county workers from between a quantity of offers submitted for the do the job, after hearing from interim county counsel Clay Adkinson that it was hard to review the two presents. One particular of the selected proposals was predicated on a commission-centered price for products and services, whilst the other was based on either a flat cost or an hourly level, relying on the work carried out.

“The challenge is, ‘How do you amount two entities with unique rate structures?’ ” Adkinson informed commissioners.

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At his suggestion, the county will challenge a further request for proposals for the true estate function, this time like information and facts on how Walton wants payment for the function to be structured.

At the exact assembly in which they rejected the actual estate products and services proposals, commissioners voted 4-1 — with Commissioner Tony Anderson dissenting — to consider a glance at achievable purchases of a 199-acre tract adjacent to the Mossy Head Industrial Park and a 1-acre parcel in DeFuniak Springs.

Walton pursues new process for land purchases, considers 2 properties

Walton County commissioners will glimpse at attaining more acreage close to the Mossy Head Industrial Park. The nearby assets is 199 acres and is remaining presented to the county at $15,000 for every acre.

The move to choose a further glance at the land didn’t run counter to a fee decision final 12 months to tighten its residence acquire procedures by creating a record of specific assets requirements and formally listing parcels that could meet up with people desires. Having said that, the 4-1 vote did go the county back toward the fewer formal system in which houses would be made available to the county by their proprietors for purchase.

At the 2021 conference when commissioners opted to pursue the more formal residence acquisition process, Adkinson called the past approach the “Wild, Wild West” and instructed commissioners then that “Any Real estate agent, any citizen, any individual who thinks their cousin may possibly have a piece of property the county wants, runs up listed here and states ‘Will you obtain the assets? and (then suggests) ‘Here’s what I think it’s well worth.’ “

Commissioner Danny Glidewell introduced the potential property buy to the fee. He stated he was approached in his ability as the chairman of the Walton County Financial Enhancement Alliance (WCEDA) by the proprietor of the acreage, who was providing the land at $15,000 for each acre, for a total price tag of about $3 million.

The nonprofit WCEDA is not portion of the county governing administration. It is overseen by a board comprised of associates of the County Fee, instructional administrators, utility vendors, business enterprise proprietors and local mayors.

At Glidewell’s recommendation, commissioners voted to have county personnel users assess the home — it has been applied as a sand pit — and also to get an appraisal of the tract and include it to the county’s home acquisition list.

As a level of reference, the $15,000 for every acre asking cost for the tract is fewer than the $20,000 for every acre that the county is trying to get for land in the adjacent Mossy Head Industrial Park. Commissioners faced community criticism final thirty day period on their $20,000 asking cost, but countered that the cost attained for the land is just one particular benefit of marketing it, as purchasers will bring jobs and boost economic progress.

Experiencing similar criticism from Barbara Morano of the nonprofit South Walton Group Council, Glidewell mentioned, “All were being carrying out is just discovering an solution.”

In the close, Glidewell said the county may, if it is procured, cling on to the land rather than market it for any type of economic advancement use.

“It could be (made use of for) a good deal of issues,” he said.

County resident Teddy Stewart questioned regardless of whether the tract could ever be designed usable by the county.

“It’s essentially a 200-acre hole in the floor” the place sand has been pumped out since the 1970s, Stewart explained.

“There is certainly no way the county can do everything with that property,” he added.

Also brought to the fee by Glidewell was a proposal to contemplate buying a 1-acre tract on Baldwin Avenue in DeFuniak Springs between the Okaloosa Walton Council on Getting old and the Ameris Bank for possible use as a county library and as a distribution middle for county libraries’ publications.

Buying the house — which is at this time readily available at $159,000, according to Glidewell — could let the city of DeFuniak Springs to go after architectural variations to the existing library that is owned by the metropolis with the county maintaining the interior.

The library was founded in 1886 and is recognized as the oldest repeatedly operated library in Florida.

Nevertheless, attempts to have the library officially recognized for its historic status have been hampered by an addition built in the 1970s. The composition also has seasoned cracking and buckling of walls and complications with its doors and home windows, prompting the town to use a $50,000 grant from the Florida Division of Historic Sources for an evaluation of the composition.

Efforts to gain formal recognition of the Walton-DeFuniak Library as a historic site could get a boost if Walton County acquires land elsewhere in the city for a new library.

Efforts to obtain official recognition of the Walton-DeFuniak Library as a historic internet site could get a enhance if Walton County acquires land in other places in the city for a new library.

DeFuniak Springs Town Councilman Anthony Vallee advised commissioners at the assembly that it is  “quite difficult to operate a modern library” from the current creating.

Noting the prospect to sooner or later get the DeFuniak Springs a new library and permit the metropolis to make changes to the current library in an energy to have it formally regarded as historic, Glidewell explained to fellow commissioners, “I you should not want the land to get absent.”

Commissioners, again with Anderson dissenting, voted to set the tract on the property acquisition listing and directed interim county Administrator Tony Cornman to get in touch with the authentic estate agent handling the house.

In other serious estate-linked action at the conference, commissioners voted unanimously to send a 30-day recognize to vacate to the present-day occupants of a almost 5-acre tract on the south side of U.S. Highway 98 between Professional Put and Ellis Road in Miramar Seashore.

The tract, procured by the county final year with $5.5 million in bed tax revenue is slated to come to be a parking space for the Miramar Regional Seaside Entry on close by Scenic Gulf Push. Through vacationer season, parking is at a quality at the seashore accessibility large amount.

The tract at the moment is occupied by Delta Pavers, a stone and tile enterprise, and also involves a residential component. The occupants of the property have been on a month-to-thirty day period lease with the county because very last year’s purchase, and the 30-working day notice to vacate is typical follow in such circumstances.

This write-up at first appeared on Northwest Florida Everyday News: Walton County commission pursuing new course of action for residence acquisition

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