As the Walton Commissioner meeting began, commissioners recognised the many things they are thankful for in Walton County. The commissioners also recognised a former employee, Gary Mattison, who has been selected as the new Freeport City Clerk. Freeport has a mayoral and council form of government with the City Clerk acting as the on site manager reporting to them. Mattison wore several hats with Walton before leaving after illness. Mattison told First News he wants to see Freeport establish stronger relations with DeFuniak Springs, Paxton and Walton County.
County Attorney Mark Davis asked to remove two items dealing with Freeport’s sewer loan and fire department. Davis said there is minor language he wanted to clean up. He did not indicate any problems.
Remember the pond system installed at the landfill to catch water draining from a pit before discharging into Sandy Creek? The system allows for chemicals to evaporate and solids to settle. Commissioners approved a pump to drain the ponds to clean out those solids.
A new fire station is being built on south 331 in the Woodlawn area. Jones asked to dress it up by adding split faced block. Commissioners agree. A bid for County Road 3280 came in a million dollars lower than the next bid. Commissioner Chapman asked the staff to make sure the project manager meets the specs and stays within the funding source. He said when you leave a million dollars on the table, you can shortchange something somewhere. Commissioner Imfeld noted any change order has to come before the commissions.
Jones said the state has become the most difficult entity to deal with, but present the contract to build the sewer plant in Mossy Head. Attorney Davis said they are the ones with the cash and this is more of a take it or leave it deal.
Like the city did Monday night, the Walton Commissioners approved a resolution in support of LECOM dental school coming. The Lake Erie College of Medicine is being built in DeFuniak Springs. A request for economic development money was made to the state, but denied. Commissioner Comander said she thought the first request was a “no-brainer” and this is a financial hardship on the school. She said they do not want to loose them. The effort is to ask again. The school will not only bring in jobs, but will provide a low cost dental option to an underserved population. The school is to open next May. LECOM will work with Tri-County to bring in patients.