Walton County legislative priorities focuses on infrastructure

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In two months, lawmakers will be back in the state and federal capital deciding on their 2018 budgets.

That's why Walton County commissioners created a list of legislative priorities they will send to the lobbyists.

"Each year, the board approves a list of priorities for our state and federal lobbyist to go to the state and federal level to see what funding is available, may be available to help us with projects that we believe are important to the county," Walton County Public Information Manager, Louis Svehla said.

From infrastructure to basic residential services, Walton County Commissioners are asking the government for nearly $130 million for their projects.

"These projects, like I said, are big projects. The expansion of these would really change the area. They would have large impacts, so these aren't just small things we can go out and spend a quarter of a million dollars on and get done and be huge changes," Svehla said. "These are really long-term projects that are going to affect the long-term future of the county."

A top priority for the upcoming year is expanding water and sewer infrastructure.

"This year, they've also added water and sewer installation between DeFuniak [Springs] and Mossy Head on Highway 90 in the north end of the county, which would also help with economic development and potential building of housing. A lot of things can go in a whole lot quicker and easier if you have water and sewer available to them," said Svehla.

Also on the list is pedestrian crossings, health care clinics, and broadband accessibility.

"Everything intertwines, 'cause if you're talking broadband, you're talking economic development, water and sewer is economic development, having a clean bay and all that. As you have more people move here because of the economic development, you have to be able to provide health services too," Svehla explained.

Officials say they don't expect each one to get legislative support, but say they will continue to try other funding options for the items that don't.