Possible Changes for Charities Collecting Money in Walton County

By: Cristina Pfeffer Email
By: Cristina Pfeffer Email

Walton County Commissioners began discussing additional fundraising rules last week.

"A number of areas, especially in South Walton during peak tourist time will want to raise money,” said Walton County Commissioner Sara Comander. “It is very congested and it is not that we don't support local charities, but we have to have some order."

"I think the one thing they are going to do, is one thing limit the amount of applications that are approved and the types of groups that will be doing this fundraising,” said Louis Svehla, Public Information Officer for the county. “They are also going to look at the locations of those groups and the type of year."

Some point to the Walton County Fire Department's annual boot drive as an example of the problem.

But Walton County Fire Chief Brian Coley says those men and women have received extensive safety training, as opposed to regular citizens.

"The public that gets out and tries to raise money through a boot drive or on the highway has no idea how dangerous the highway actually is,” said Fire Chief Coley.

Officials say they also want to know who's trying to raise money in the county.

"The public was saying you know we have groups that are down on these corners and these streets and they are raising money,” said Svehla. “Not only is it unsafe, but they were saying they didn't even represent Walton County."

County officials have not yet come up with a formal ordinance to consider.

They'll hold some workshops and get community input.

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