Panama City, FL –
WALTON COUNTY Florida (WMBB– County commissioners had a busy agenda on Tuesday, discussing three projects that will affect local residents and together spending around $ 7 million.
Commissioners are trying to remove abandoned ships, help with medical care for the needy and add new bike racks to South Walton. Officials said now is the time to tackle the issues after the summer season ends.
The biggest expense item is a non-ad valorem tax assessment for Healthmark and Ascension Sacred Heart hospitals in Walton.
“About $ 6.95 million,” said county financial manager Melissa Thomason.
This is the second year that Walton officials have worked with the Agency for Healthcare Administration to provide a tax assessment. It allows hospitals to leverage additional federal government funds to be used for indigent care and higher medical education specialties. This is the first month that the money will be available for hospitals.
“Hospitals do not recover the costs of care for the indigent in the community and this allows them to be closer to recovering the costs incurred in that care,” said Thomason.
Another grant out of the county’s consent program will pay for the removal of five abandoned ships around Walton’s waterways. The cost is between 50 and 80 thousand dollars.
“We have them in the bay, we have them in Alaqua, we have them in La Grange bayou, we have part of Grady Brown Park,” said county environmental coordinator Melinda Gates.
Commissioners are making life a little better for cyclists in South Walton.
“This is a great time of year to get in and replace some of the items that can be a little worn out,” said Jason Cutshaw, acting director of the South Walton Tourist Development Council.
The old bike racks are deteriorating and county officials have voted to replace the racks at a cost of $ 45,000.
“Replace them with better ones, probably aluminum which will last longer in salty air, which is what we need,” Cutshaw said. “And just encourage this mode of cycling.”
Authorities hope to complete the abandoned ship subsidy and remove the boats within the next six months.
Walton approved more than $7 million in grants and spending Source link Walton approved more than $7 million in grants and spending