CHIPLEY - The Washington County Board of Commissioners heard a possible plan to buy back the county industrial park during their Aug. 20 workshop.
Local economic leaders, including representatives from the Washington County Economic Development Board, Chamber of Commerce, and Terry Ellis, Vice President of American Operations of WestPoint Home, made the proposal.
The recommendation is that the board earmark funds generated by Northwest Florida Community Hospital's loan repayment for the facility's purchase from the county to buy back the industrial park.
The annual repayment, which is due beginning Dec. 2015, is anticipated to bring in about $96,000 a year for the county over the next 30 years.
"This money hasn't been budgeted in yet," said Washington County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ted Everett. "Let's earmark those funds to invest in the future development of Washington County so that (County Attorney) Jeff Goodman can open negations with the Concrete Company (to buy back the industrial park)."
The industrial park was sold to the Concrete Company for Project Pipe in the amount of $350,000, with the right for first refusal should the project not come to fruition.
The board agreed to task Goodman with drafting the paperwork to be discussed further at the regular meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 28.
Also to appear on next week's agenda:
- State Housing Initiative Program Annual Report (SHIP) and Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP) technical revision to correct a never submitted revision of Financial Report 2010-2011 and to include a recommendation to recapture funds for emergency repairs.
- Washington County School Board's half cent sales tax, presented by Superintendent of Schools Joseph Taylor.
- Commissioner Lynn Gothard's proposal to adopt a work order for inmates, giving a clear designated area and time of county's use of inmate labor.
- Revision of county's web site through possible new web master.
- Tourist Development Council Heather Lopez's resolution to declare Washington County a Florida Paddling Trail Blueway Community to attract tourism to the local rivers.
- Possible cell tower lease agreement at the Equestrian Center.
- Variance request from a future resident of Crystal Lake. Senior Planner Michael DeRuntz explained that even though the Washington County Planning Council approved of it because the variance was for handicap accessibility, he disapproved because one of the adjoining neighbors objected to the variance.
- Variance request for Maximum Digital Sign Area to replace the triangular rotating billboard on State Road 79 in Vernon to a digital message board which will include community messages from the city about meetings, community events, etc.
- Road Name Change Procedure to help establish a process of individuals to go through in order to come before the board to request a name change of a road.
- Washington County Library Director Renae Rountree's request to close the Washington County Public Libraries for two weeks for inventory was reduced to one week after discussion.
- Recommendation to purchase four dump trucks and two graders for Road and Bridge within the amount of $1 million.
- To keep the construction of the new courthouse on the property where the old one is currently located.
- Submit application for grant money from the Brown Fields program to help clean up the old fueling area of the courthouse and to apply for a grant through the Chipley Redevelopment Agency in the amount of $150,000 to help tear down the old jail behind the courthouse.
Board agreed on moving the Washington County Board of County Commissioners' Sept. 17 workshop to 9 a.m. on Sept. 22 due to scheduling conflicts.
The next regular scheduled meeting of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners is set for 9 a.m. on Aug. 28.