The Walton County Board of County Commissioners recently announced the completion and submission of its first application to Triumph Gulf Coast.
This request is for Triumph to support Walton County’s efforts to install/upgrade water and sewer infrastructure along the 331 corridor in order to support and enhance business and job growth. In the application, the county has identified $17.5 million of RESTORE funds that it intends to use as matching funds for the $14.2 million request being made. Further, the county will commit to a number of jobs commensurate to the amount of funding being requested.
“Walton County had great success in developing the Mossy Head Industrial Park once water and sewer infrastructure was in place," said Commissioner and Board Chair Bill Chapman. "As President of the Florida Senate, Senator Gaetz was instrumental in securing state funding to build a sewage treatment plant to serve the park and providing state money to complete other needed infrastructure. Upon completion, the county was able to site seven new businesses who invested over $50 million and provided upwards of 400 jobs in the park.
"We fully believe that providing water and sewer to the entire length of U.S. 331 will spur economic growth and facilitate hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs for Walton County," he added. "This has been a complicated process, which we worked very hard on to ensure that our application was as thorough and complete as possible prior to submission. We look forward to working with the Triumph Board and staff to move our application quickly through the process.”
Once approved by the Triumph Board, a contract will be submitted to the Walton Board of County Commission for consideration. It is our objective that this application will be heard and considered at the September 12 Triumph Gulf Coast Board Meeting.
“This was a long and grueling process," said Commissioner Cecilia Jones, chair of the local Triumph Committee. "We felt certain that in order to be successful we needed an all hands on deck approach. This included our engineering department, public works, planning, and outside consultants. While the application was a lengthy document requiring specific expertise to complete, even more complicated were the working documents, demonstrating and supporting the findings in the application.
"There were certain business analytics, statistics and calculations required in order to provide a full spectrum of support of the application findings," she added. "A special thanks goes to county staff and consultants in giving this project so much attention and producing a first class, winning application.”
The county is currently working on other applications for Triumph Funding, including broadband and an environmental research and business innovation center. Each of these applications will be presented for consideration upon completion.
Further, the county is working with Northwest Florida State College in support of their Simulated City Triumph Submission, which when approved will bring great jobs and opportunities to Walton County.