Walton County, Florida to use new land for proposed lake, amphitheater

Walton County commissioners have approved an $8.9 million contract to purchase this 220-acre combination of tracts between U.S. Highway 98 (at bottom of photo) and Chat Holly Road, between County Road 393 to the east and U.S. Highway 331 to the west. Plans call for the possible construction of an amphitheater and associated parking on the site. The purchase also will keep the acreage from private development and help with stormwater management, according to Commissioner Danny Glidewell.

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — Walton County commissioners on Tuesday approved an $8.9 million invest in of 220 acres amongst Chat Holly Highway and U.S. Highway 98.

Particularly, the commission vote gave Chairman Trey Nick the authority to indication a resolution to bring forward the funding essential for the invest in.  

The unanimously authorized obtain will be funded with $2 million in county reserve resources devoted to land preservation and $6.9 million in Walton County Tourist Enhancement Council (TDC) reserve funds.

The TDC funds arrive from a 5% bed tax on accommodations across the county, which raises thousands and thousands of pounds per year. The TDC voted to propose the expenditure of its pounds for the land purchase at its Tuesday meeting, just several hours ahead of the Tuesday afternoon fee conference.  

Danny Glidewell

The owners of the assets reportedly had been in conversations with a residential developer at the similar time the county was on the lookout at the acreage. The county staff has been functioning on the challenge for months, Commissioner Danny Glidewell mentioned at Tuesday’s conference.

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At minimum portion of the home is proposed as the opportunity website for an amphitheater, a go intended to diversify the offerings for vacationers browsing the wildly common seashores of South Walton County, according to Glidewell, a passionate proponent of the obtain.

On top of that, there are proposals to build a lake on the property and enhance its wetlands as a suggests to help improve drinking water high-quality in close by Choctawhatchee Bay, Glidewell observed Tuesday.

Glidewell added that construction of a street by way of the tract could tackle some of the county’s transportation concerns.

He also explained that employing the tract for public reasons will curb household and commercial development now relocating at a breakneck speed in the south end of the county.

David Demarest, the TDC’s director of advertising and marketing and communications, reported the quite preliminary setting up for the amphitheater envisions a facility with a seating capability of as several as 10,000 folks, with parking on encompassing grass or pervious surfaces that will not likely inhibit movement of h2o inside of the tract.