BONIFAY – Employees of Holmes County will soon be facing an increase of insurance rates.

Due to claims being unforeseeably high over the past year, the county will see a 20 percent increase across the board in insurance costs.

Insurance agent Dennis Barnes advised Holmes County Commissioners of the steps taken to keep costs as low as possible when the board met in regular session August 8, stating he "shopped around"  for the group of 129 employees looking for a better rate, with the two other companies in the region declining to offer a rate.

The county says it had no other recourse than to remain with Florida Blue as insurance provider at the 20 percent increase.

Engineer Cliff Knauer also updated the board on the progress of the Bonifay-Gritney Road and Bonifay-Chipley Road projects. Both roads have wetland delineations underway by biologists. Once completed, both projects will be ready for survey and design.

In other business, commissioners approved the hiring of Lee Duke as Mosquito Control Director. Duke will make $25 an hour for the part time position of 29 hours a week. The positions averages roughly 14 hours per week.

The county also approved a letter of commitment to continue working with Opportunity Florida on the 79 Corridor Project.

Boys Scouts of America Troop 39 from Holmes and Washington County attended the meeting as part of their process to earn the communications merit badge. The troop spoke to the board and thanked them for service to the community. Board members were presented with certificates and bracelets from Troop 39, with the troop receiving certificates from the commission as well.