Walton County Local TRIUMPH Committee Meets; Reviews Project Pre-Application Submittals

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November 06, 2017
On Wednesday, November 1st, the Walton County Local TRIUMPH Committee held their first meeting in the DeFuniak Springs Courthouse Boardroom.  The meeting was attended by the committee members, Walton County Chairwoman and District 2 Commissioner Cecilia Jones, Walton County Administrator Larry Jones and Walton County Local RESTORE Act Coordinator Billy Williams and numerous applicants.
 
The first meeting of the Local TRIUMPH Committee comes on the heels of multiple Restore Act Community Forum meetings that were held throughout the County beginning in June 2017 by Chairwoman Jones and Mr. Williams.  Those meetings focused on educating the public regarding Restore Funds, presenting information on potential projects and giving the public the opportunity to ask questions and be part of the process.
 
Commissioner Jones opened the meeting by welcoming guests, thanking the committee for volunteering and then each committee member introduced themselves. Commissioner Jones then turned the floor to County Attorney Sidney Noyes. Ms. Noyes gave a brief overview of Sunshine Laws and requirements and told committee members of the November 30th Sunshine Law Training. Walton County RESTORE Act Coordinator Billy Williams gave an overview of objectives that included the meetings objectives, a history of the Triumph Gulf Coast and the process for assessing and recommending which project pre-applications would move forward to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (WCBCC).
 
The main purpose for the introduction by Mr. Williams was to introduce the recommended process that the committee could take to assess the project pre-applications and make recommendations for the continuation of selected projects to move forward to the WCBCC for discussion and approve at their November 7th Regular BCC meeting.
 
The process, as presented with a PowerPoint by Mr. Williams, asked the committee members to determine if a project should be moved forward to the WCBCC using 3 Criteria:
 
Does it meet Statuary Eligible Uses?
Does it Meet Statuary Priorities?
Is it Transformational?
 
Walton County Administrator Larry Jones explained further that pursuant to that determination, projects would be grouped into the following categories with those determined to be A, B, C or D to be presented to the WCBCC.
 
A project determined by a majority of the committee to meet 3 of the above considerations will fall into Category A.
A project determined by a majority of the committee to meet 2 of the above considerations will fall into Category B.
A project determined by a majority of the committee to meet 1 of the above considerations will fall into Category C.
A project determined by a majority of the committee to meet none of the above considerations will fall into Category D.
 
Chairwoman Jones, acting as non-voting facilitator for the Committee, provided additional direction on the proposed process and opened the floor to questions or discussion from the Committee members.
 
Following a brief discussion, the Committee voted to move forward with the project pre-application recommendation process as it was presented to them by Mr. Williams by a vote of 9-1.
 
As a result of the pre-application process, the committee received 36 project submittals that came from both public and private entities.  The individual project submittal requests ranged between $15,000 and $140 Million, totaled $260 Million and covered a wide variety of projects from infrastructure to education and environmental to economic development.
 
Examples of projects included the following:
 
Infrastructure: U.S. 331 Corridor Water & Sewer County & City Collaboration
Education: Educational Farming & Job Placement Collaboration of Schools & Private Industries 
Environmental: Environmental Camp Ground Collaboration for Biophilia, Animal Rescue & Special Needs
Economic Development: County to County Collaboration for Private Industry 
 
Click the following link to access the Walton County Local TRIUMPH Committee webpage: https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1217/Local-TRIUMPH-Committee.  
 
Click the following link to access the project pre-application submissions: https://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentCenter/View/29526
 
Click the following link to access the November 1st meeting presentation:
https://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentCenter/View/29527
 
Click the following link to access the Triumph Committee Project Pre-Application Category Results:
https://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentCenter/View/29528
 
The WCBCC will be discussing the projects that have been moved forward to them during their November 7th Regular BCC meeting that will be held beginning at 4:00pm in the South Walton Annex Boardroom located at 31 Coastal Centre Blvd. in Santa Rosa Beach.
 
The Local TRIUMPH Committee will hold their next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, December 6th from 3pm to 5pm in the DeFuniak Springs Courthouse Boardroom located at 571 US Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs.