Wakulla County Approves 2019 Legislative Priorities

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                    February 14, 2019

Contact: 
Jessica Welch
Office of Communications & Public Services
(850) 926-0919

Wakulla County Approves 2019 Legislative Priorities 

Crawfordville, FloridaThe Wakulla County Board of County Commissioner’s (Board) establishes legislative priorities every year. The 2019 legislative priorities approved by the Board on January 7, 2019, focus on public safety and community facilities.  A total of $6 million in state funding is being requested from the Legislature for the three priorities as follows:

#1 – First Responder Communication System:  $2 million is being requested to identify, purchase and install a new first responder communication system to replace the aging system now being used and operated for first responder calls.  

#2 – New Library/High Risk Shelter:  $3.5 million is being requested to design and construct a new centrally located library facility that will also function as a high-risk shelter for citizens, visitors and evacuees to Wakulla County before and after disaster events such as Hurricane Michael.   The new Library/Shelter will be located on the Wakulla County Community Center property in Crawfordville.   The existing Library facility will be renovated to serve as a Fire/EMS Station in the Medart area.  

#3 – Back-up Generators: $500,000 is being requested to purchase and install back-up generators at critical County facilities.  Generators will allow County staff to continue to provide critical services and information during long-term power outages.   

The Board is also seeking an additional $3 million in State Springs Protection funding from the Northwest Florida Water Management District. These funds are needed to continue the County’s phased approach of extending central sewer into Magnolia Gardens and Wakulla Gardens. To date the County has received a total of $12.3 million in Springs Protection funds and estimates that by the end of this year that 529 homes will be connected to central sewer.  The goal of this project is to improve and protect water quality by reducing nutrient leaching into the Florida aquifer in the Wakulla Springs Contribution Area for the benefits of all citizens, visitors and the environment.   

In addition to funding requests, the Board is seeking to create a Wakulla County Airport Authority (Authority) through the legislative process. The Board’s proposed legislation will establish the Authority as an independent Special District that will own and operate the Wakulla County Airport, which is currently owned and operated by the Board.  The Authority will be governed by a Board of Directors elected through an election conducted by the Wakulla County Supervisor of Elections. Draft legislative language was approved by the Board on November 5, 2018, and submitted to the Legislature.  A bill has not been filed as of this date. 

For additional information related to this story, please contact Sheree Keeler, Intergovernmental Affairs Director at [email protected] or 850-926-0919 ext. 705.