Walton County Board of County Commissioners recently held a workshop to review projects that are requesting a piece of the Triumph funds pie that is to be given out over the next 15 years.
Restore Act Coordinator Billy Williams provided the county's local Triumph Committee an update with an overview of projects recommended to the Board of County Commissioners for approval to move through the Triumph Gulf Coast process.
The dozen that received favorable rankings in order from highest dollar amount to lowest are:
1.) 331 Water & Sewer project requested the most at $27.1 million and received an A ranking.
2.) Northwest Florida State College requested the next highest dollar amount for its Sim City project at $22.6 million and received an A ranking.
3.) The new Veteran's Lodge project in DeFuniak Springs requested $10.2 million and received an A ranking.
4.) Owl's Head development in Freeport requested $10 million and got an A ranking.
5.) Walton County Sheriff's Office requested $8 million for a security project and received an A ranking.
6.) Stone Clinical requested $6.9 million and received an A.
7.) LECOM Dental School in DeFuniak Springs requested $3.6 million and received an A.
8.) Walton County School Board requested $2.9 million and received an A.
9.) Walton County Sheriff's Office requested $2.6 million for its jail project and received an A.
10.) Westonwood Ranch requested $1 million and received a B ranking.
11.) Walton County requested $900,000 for its broadband initiative and received an A.
12.) Biophilia Center in Freeport requested $600,000 and received an A ranking.
The local Triumph committee initially received, vetted, and ranked 36 projects that were submitted to the BCC. Of the 36, 17 were given either an A or B rating by the committee, then were approved by the BCC to be submitted through the pre-application process. Since then, TGC has approved 12 of the submitted projects, totally $95.6 million to move to their full application phase.
There are no deadlines for projects to be submitted, so, more applications are expected.
"The ones that did not receive a favorable rating can re-apply," said Williams.
A key component that will help determine whether a project is funded by TGC would not necessarily be the project itself but the economic impact that a project would have in the future -- what a project would mean for Walton County five and 10 years from now, how many sustainable jobs will result.
No monies have actually been awarded yet. What was determined was which projects would have BCC support to move through the system using three criteria: does it meet statuary eligible uses, does it meet statuary priorities, and is it transformational?
Projects determined by a majority of the committee to meet three of the criteria falls into category A. Projects determined by a majority of the committee to meet two criteria falls into category B. Projects determined by a majority of the committee to meet one of the criteria falls into category C. Projects determined by a majority of the committee to meet none of the considerations fell into category D.
The BCC approved to support all projects that received an A or B.
Triumph Gulf Coast is a nonprofit corporation organized to oversee the expenditure of 75 percent of all funds recovered by the Florida Attorney General for economic damages to the State resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Triumph Gulf Coast administers distribution of funds to be used for the recovery, diversification, and enhancement of the eight Northwest Florida counties affected by the oil spill. Those counties include Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla.
Florida received $1.5 billion to be dispersed over 15 years for the economic damage. Until dispersed, the money is held in trust. The first payment of $300 million is available now.
The next Triumph meeting will be March 28 at 2 p.m. at McLain's Restaurant in DeFuniak Springs.
For more information, visit www.co.walton.fl.us/1217/Local-TRIUMPH-Committee.