BONIFAY – A tentative agreement on the disbursement of Local Option Gas Tax (LOGT) funds was expected to be signed when Holmes County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session July 25, but the issue has been postponed until the September 12 meeting.
Attorney Jeff Goodman requested the board send the agreement to each of the municipalities involved – Bonifay, Esto, Noma, Ponce de Leon, and Westville - for approval before the board takes final action. Should the agreement be approved, all around the funds will begin disbursement to each municipality when the fiscal year starts October 1.
$105,920 of LOGT funds are slated to be used to pave North and South Ride Lanes in an ongoing project to improve the quality of the roads. The beginning of the paving is contingent on contractor C.W. Roberts honoring the bid amount given to the county in January. A survey and alignment of South Ride Lane for $1,500 was approved for Dewberry Preble-Rish to complete the project.
The issue concerning Lake Cassidy was once again brought before the board with citizens expressing remaining concerns of the public being denied access by the land owners around the lake itself. Attorney Jeff Goodman attempted to allay the fears by explaining the board's stance on the matter.
“The road and boat ramp are available for public use,” said Goodman. “The road has historically been maintained by the county as well as the ramp and parking areas. It is the county's stance that these will remain accessible by the public until a judge tell us it isn’t.”
Engineer Cliff Knauer advised the board of $360,000 returned to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) at the completion of the resurfacing project on Highway 183-A.
Commissioners tasked Knauer with requesting those funds to be transferred over to the Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP) project on Highway 181-C. Project cost is estimated at $1,780,000, with FDOT awarding $1,417,349, leaving the project $359,000 over budget.
Commissioners also voted to accept FDOT-approved funding for the survey and design projects on Bonifay-Gritney Road from Highway 177-A to Josey Road and Bonifay-Chipley Road from the Washington County line to Magnolia Street. Dewberry Preble-Rish will complete the survey and design for both projects, which totals $345,500.
In other business, Commission Chairman Clint Erickson proposed using leftover monies from the Ivan fund – comprised of money disbursed by the state to counties after Hurricane Ivan - to pay off an ambulance for Emergency Management Services in the amount of $47,000. The remaining fund balance of $10,000 will be used to purchase chain saws, weed-eaters, and pole saws for road crews. The board approved the proposal in order to avoid extra funding needed for the new budget.
The board also allocated $10,000 made from the sale of a surplus Ford tractor to purchase two new mowers.
Holmes County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in regular session at 9 a.m. on August 8.