Group moving forward with South Walton incorporation...in 2018

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP)-- Saying it wants to "give residents of South Walton a new, transparent view of a forward-looking vision for our community" a group in favor of making South Walton its own town, says the work is moving forward, albeit delayed.

It had hoped to move forward with a vote on incorporation during the 2017 legislative session, but instead will look to hold a vote in 2018.

In a press release Tuesday, A Better South Walton says it has held more than a dozen public town hall meetings and charter workshops in the last two years, along with more than 25 smaller meetings with various community groups.

The group says "89% of the ad valorem tax revenue that provides financial stability to Walton County is generated in South Walton. Our growing community presents unique challenges that require the community to consider new ideas."

Among the new ideas are incorporating South Walton into a town. It's an area in Walton County bordered by Bay County to the east, Okaloosa County to the west and Choctawhatchee Bay to the north. The incorporation would require an act of the state legislature as well as voter approval. If approved, it would give people who live in South Walton more control over their area. There's also a proposed charter which outlines how the Town of South Walton's government would operate.

On its website, ABSW says it's mission is to "seek more effective governance and local representation for South Walton to preserve and enhance its unique character, property values and quality of life."