Walton County Board of County Commissioners has two new first-time commissioners, who joined the board in November.
The two new commissioners joined the other three on Tuesday to voice what they would like to see as the board's strategic goals and objectives for the coming year.
"When new commissioners come on the board it's important to voice things that are important to you, to document goals and objectives, specific or general, to keep in front of us as we move forward," said County Manager Larry Jones.
Commission Chair Cecilia Jones spoke of a comprehensive economic development strategy as part of her strategic plan. She said the Economic Development Board has added a person from the school board to help even it out. She still wants to improve the master corridor and the county needs a plan for U.S. Highway 331 as it experiences growth.
Economic Development Director Bill Imfeld addressed the commissioners about the growth he is seeing at Mossy Head.
"There is discussion about a Waffle House wanting to come in," he said. "There is a distributor wanting to come in, and small parcels are available, but it is filling out. We are working with a group from Wayne Farms. The biggest hang up is lack of water and sewer. There is a big push funding for 331 corridor development which gives us funds to keep on going and make things viable for businesses wanting to come in."
District 3 Commissioner Melanie Nipper asked if these businesses would pay above minimum wage to which Imfeld answered that Waffle House would be entry level, but the distribution company has a wide pay range.
"We need housing for the workforce that is affordable," said Imfeld. "We are working with developers to develop housing."
District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander said she does a visioning process throughout the county and she has started visioning online giving the public 30 days to allow them to tell her what they think is important. She said she will bring those results back to the board.
District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman's continued No. 1 concern is getting broader healthcare county wide and expanding available rural healthcare.
"I am advocating for a health clinic in Red Bay and I want to pick up a void on the east side of the county," he said. "A lot of residents are on a fixed income that live north of the bay and can't easily travel to see a doctor or dentist."
District 5's new Commissioner Tony Anderson said he is looking at an underpass for the intersection of County Road 30A and U.S. Highway 98, which he said is a bad intersection.
"We are working with individuals in Inlet Beach and with Sen. George Gainer and Rep. Brad Drake for an underground path from one side to the other," said Anderson. "Drake has stepped up and thinks he can get us money to start."
Jones said the new 331 bridge is almost finished and the Florida Department of Transportation is helping with landscaping.
For District 3's new commissioner, Melanie Nipper's goal is to give the local areas the best chance they to succeed have by encouraging bringing in high-speed internet.
"That is the only way we will get companies here," she said.
Comander noted she worked with schools and county offices to get high-speed internet to them.
"We used to have control over franchises but we don't have that power any longer," she said.