Walton County residents have been provided an opportunity to let their leaders know how they feel about possibly building a fishing pier on the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The county put a two-question survey on its web site this week to gauge interest in a pier and where people would like to see one built.

“Are people interested, and if so, where do you want it? That’s all the board wants right now,” county spokesman Louis Svehla said. “This is very early, very high level. They’ll look at this and figure out where to go from there.”

take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NRZ25WT

The survey was suggested at a May 9 County Commission meeting as a way to collect data without conducting a referendum, as had been suggested by county resident Richard Loverne.

Resident Frank Day was somewhat skeptical of the motives of some commissioners who are up for re-election this year.

“I think they’re trying to make it look like they’re listening to the public,” he said.

Nonetheless, Day — an admittedly avid fisherman — already had participated in the survey by Thursday morning and was willing to suggest where he’d like to see a pier built.

“Absolutely I’m in favor of it, and probably our easiest fit for it would be along Scenic Gulf Drive,” he said. “There’s some county-owned property there near the (Okaloosa) County line, and they’ve got a parking area there that could be expanded with elevated parking.”

The survey will be online until July 13, Svehla said. On that date the information will be collected and tabulated. He said he will provide commissioners with the results at the July 24 meeting.

Day said he’d done some research and learned that Walton County has millions of dollars in BP oil spill money that it could use to build a pier, but Svehla said he thought if and when funding such a project is considered, county officials would look first toward using bed tax dollars.