Walton County Receives Big Refund

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Monday morning the Florida DOT gave the go ahead for fifty million dollars to be refunded to Walton County.
The county took out a loan for 75 million dollars to pay it's part of the expansion of highway 331 from us 98 to I-10.

“Well basically what's happening is the project is going to continue as planned through the department of transportation. We are going to have the extra bridge, the extra laned bridge built over the bay. What secretary Barfiled brought today was that the bid came in significantly lower than what was anticipated" said Walton County PIO Manager Louis Svehla.

The project was expected to cost 150-million dollars. But the winning bid was considerably less - so walton county is getting a big refund.

"What the state has said they would do at a previous meeting is if it comes in underbid or under the amount they had allocated for that they would refund that money back to Walton County."

The county will apply the money to the loan. This is also good news for tax payers who will not have to pay the extra half cent sales as long as expected.

"The sales tax that was voted in by the tax payers and accepted by the board is a sunset sales tax. Which basically means once that money is collected and you hit that benchmark to pay for the project that tax goes away" said Svehla.

Walton county expects to repay the loan about the same time the expansion is done in 2016. The county could receive up to 57 million dollars once the contract is signed by the winning construction firm.

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