CHIPLEY - Washington County Commissioners approved the hiring of a new Planner for the county. Steven Cramer will be starting on Monday, August 21 in the planner position. Cramer comes to Washington County with 30 plus years of experience in Palm Beach County. With the hiring of Cramer, the board will terminate its contract with West Florida Regional Planning Council (WFRPC) and the use of its planners.

A request for proposals was approved when the Washington County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session August 16. The proposals will be for space on the communications tower at Mudd Hill, for wireless internet providers. Providing this service will allow residents in the south end of the county access to high speed internet. Voting on the bids is expected to take place in September.

The Kirkland Road resurfacing project has reached the construction, engineering and inspection (CEI) portion of the project. Melvin Engineering will be performing the task with the approval of the commission.

A floodplain management ordinance’s first reading was approved by four of the five commissioners. Commissioner Todd Abbott voted against the that deals with building within the floodplain in accordance with the county’s own ordinances.

“I don’t like us being forced to sign something that says we are in a floodplain when we may well not be,” said Abbott. “This forces insurance rates up and most cant afford any more increases.”

The second reading and final vote on the ordinance is expected at the August 24 meeting.

Travis Howell of Alday-Howell spoke with the commission regarding the Usery Road sidewalk project and the design portion of the project. Commissioners instructed Howell to look at placing the entire sidewalk on the west side of the road complete with a crosswalk to the nursing home, school and apartments on Brickyard Road if it can be done within budget.

County Engineer Cliff Knauer updated the board on several projects in the county during the meeting. Keencutter Road has been completed and is awaiting closeout on the low water crossing project. Obie Street has its survey completed and Bonnet Pond Road has its survey ongoing. Knauer is meeting with land owners on Kent Road and stated he hasn’t come up against any opposition to the project as of yet.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for Cotton Landing is set to be held at 10 a.m. on August 23.

Washington County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in regular session at 9 a.m. on August 24.