BONIFAY – Ordinances concerning Future Land Use Map (FLUM) updates and Commercial Intent Overlay map were approved by Holmes County Board of County Commissioners when they met in regular session August 29.

Part of the 79 Corridor project, the map allows for land use changes to facilitate a smoother transition to commercial use from other designations as a means to encourage economic growth and give a better idea of available parcels to businesses looking to locate along State Road 79.

The board is also looking to apply for Florida Job Growth grant funds to assist in the 79 Corridor project in conjunction with Washington County and the City of Bonifay for part of the $85 million in available funds.

The county's bed tax is expected to go up by one percent after commissioners asked that an ordinance be drawn up to increase the bed tax from two percent to three percent. The change brings the county in line with the rate charged by most Florida counties, which already charge three percent or higher for bed tax. The bed tax only applies to those who rent hotel or motel rooms in the county. By state statute, the funds from the tax are directed primarily to the Tourist Development Council.

The bid for the Tobe Retherford Road paving project was awarded to Anderson Columbia for $1,248,479.75. The funding comes from Florida Department of Transportation for a Small County Outreach Program (SCOP). Melvin Engineering is heading up the project.

Discussion was also held regarding Local Option Gas Tax (LOGT) funds after the City of Bonifay opted to not sign the interlocal agreement concerning how the funds are distributed when the city met August 28. Holmes County Commissioners will meet in a special session at 4 p.m. on September 11 in an attempt to finalize an agreement all parties can agree to.

The county is also requesting advanced funding for the repaving project on Idlewood Drive and Idlewood Circle. The $168,000 project is budgeted for the Florida Department of Transportation's 2018 fiscal year. Should the county be granted the request, work would move ahead on the roads and would be reimbursed in June 2018.

Holmes County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in a special budget session at 5 p.m. on September 7.