BONIFAY – Holmes County FEMA Coordinator Joey Marsh updated the Board of County Commissioners at their July 11 regular session meeting on the status of the extension request for FEMA work. The request has been forwarded on to FEMA from the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) with their recommendation of approval for the four year extension. The county is waiting for approval on the federal level but will continue work in the meantime.

Updates to the Holmes County Future Land Use Map (FLUM) has been forward to the Department of Economic Opportunity.

The updated map, which includes an overlay showing land available for commercial use designation, was developed as part of efforts to help develop the 79 Business Corridor project. Commissioners agreed to submit the map for approval.

The Environmental Protection Agency officially announced plans to fund an estuary program in Northwest Florida earlier this year by setting up a competition for $2 million that Okaloosa and Walton county officials had been preparing for, for months.

The Choctawhatchee Bay watershed includes tributaries that run through Holmes and Washington County, leading to an interlocal agreement being proposed by Okaloosa County and Walton County officials so that the four counties can team up to expand the estuary program.

The agreement is meant to consolidate the counties’ respective efforts for collaborative management, restoration and protection of the bay and its watershed. Officials state that with the counties working together, revenues and grant proceeds that can fund these projects can be used to maximize the funding.

Holmes County appointed Chairman Clint Erickson to represent Holmes County on the collaborative.

A budget amendment of $54,000 for repairs and maintenance of Road Department equipment and supplies was approved. The funds will come from FEMA funds to replace what the county has spent in upkeep.

The board approved travel expenses for Emergency Management Services, Steve Connell, and another employee to travel to Texas to drop off an ambulance that is being remounted for the county. After staying one night the men will fly back. The $1,500 cost will be paid out of the EMS budget.

Holmes County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in regular session at 6 p.m. on July 25.