Walton County Holds Public ‘Restore Act’ Workshop - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Walton County Holds Public ‘Restore Act’ Workshop

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County leaders continue to discuss the potential impact of ‘Restore Act' funds for the Gulf Coast.

In Walton County, the first public Restore Act workshop brought to light resident concerns.

Coming off last week's Restore Act meeting in St. Pete, Commissioner Sara Comander said it's necessary to take action now and sign the inter-local agreement established by the Florida Association of Counties.

She admitted it's a work in progress.

"It's not perfect. It's never going to be perfect. We can hash back and forth for months and months and months and months. Meanwhile, it's getting nothing done," said Comander.

Drafted at series of meetings across the Gulf Coast of Florida, the document will govern how the Gulf Consortium acts on the best interests of the counties it represents, once the funds have been established.

But, vital things are missing said Walton resident, Anita Page.

"When you've got 23 counties being represented, all trying to make decisions under a document, that document, which in this case is the inter-local agreement, needs to be absolutely clear on as many points as it can be," said Page.

She focused particularly on the start up fees necessary to establish the consortium, until the BP fine is determined and the funds begin flowing

Meanwhile, Commander said it's necessary people realize that Florida is competing for these funds and a vision for viable programs established by this money should be started sooner than later.

"We either join in the coalition and try to address these problems as we go along, or we stand alone by ourselves and I guarantee you we're going to get absolutely nothing if we stand by ourselves," said Comander.

For now, Walton County will take a breather to send concerns and draft changes to the state and wait to hear back.

Walton County has scheduled a second Restore Act workshop next Wednesday, October 3rd, at 9 am.