BONIFAY – The Holmes County School Board is expected to call an executive session within the next few weeks to entertain an offer by the Holmes County Board of Commissioners to purchase the old Bonifay Elementary School property for $250,000.
School board members announced their intention when the board met in regular session Tuesday morning after a presentation by County Commissioner Clint Erickson. Should the school board vote to sell the property, the county is expected to use a combination of funding sources to purchase the property. $223,000 would come from funds set aside from the sale of the old fairgrounds, and $27,000 would be taken from funds left over from federal monies the county received in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
The Holmes County Board of Commissioners addressed several other issues when they met last week.
Local resident Brandon Newsome expressed his concerns about the opening of an RV resort in Ponce de Leon.
“Do we really want to have what is essentially a trailer park on prime real estate in our county?” asked Newsome. “I fear this will create more work for our law enforcement by trying to keep the area cleaned up."
Newsome also pointed to what he called a lack of policy giving residents adequate notice about issues such as proposed developments. Commissioners acknowledged there is an issue with county procedures but advised Newsome to speak to the Town of Ponce Leon about his specific concerns regarding the RV resort.
Commissioners took a moment out of handling county business to recognize local Vietnam veterans in a Vietnam War Commemoration ceremony sponsored by Bay County Veterans Center. Each veteran was presented with a certificate and a lapel pin to honor their service.
Attorney Jeff Goodman also advised the board that the county would be taking the official stance that Lake Cassidy is open to the public. Litigation is expected to come soon on the issue, with Holmes County pushing to retain public access to Lake Cassidy. The county had leased one acre of property from Plum Creek Timber Company for $15 a year since 2010 to serve as a municipal park, but the lease expired last year. The land was sold, and the new owners are opposed to public access on the one-acre tract.
In other business, Dr. Mohammed Yunus is stepping down from his position as the county's medical director after serving in the role for 17 years. Commissioners have appointed Dr. Kyle Contini to the position.
Commissioners were also advised that a $20,250 insurance payment was issued to the county for damages resulting from a tree falling on an excavator cab. Repairs are expected to total around $22,340.92, with the remaining balance to be taken from the road department fund.
Commissioners also approved a request from Jody Bush of Relay For Life to place shoes on the courthouse steps in honor of those who have lost their battle with cancer. Bush also requested the commissioners to sign a proclamation declaring the week of April 30 through May 5 “Paint the Town Purple” week to gear up for the Holmes/Washington County Relay for Life festivities, set for May 5 at Pal's Park in Chipley.
Homes County Board of County Commissioners will meet again at 6 p.m. on April 25.