Local TRIUMPH Committee
Walton County BCC Completes and Submits First Application to Triumph Gulf Coast
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce the completion and submission of its first application to Triumph Gulf Coast.
This request is for Triumph to support Walton County’s efforts to install/upgrade water and sewer infrastructure along the 331 corridor in order to support and enhance business and job growth. In the application, the County has identified $17.5 million of RESTORE funds which it intends to use as matching funds for the $14.2 million request being made. Further, the County will commit to a number of jobs commensurate to the amount of funding being requested.
Commissioner and Board Chair Bill Chapman says “Walton County had great success in developing the Mossy Head Industrial Park once water and sewer infrastructure was in place. As President of the Florida Senate, Senator Gaetz was instrumental in securing state funding to build a sewage treatment plant to serve the park and providing state money to complete other needed infrastructure. Upon completion, the county was able to site seven new businesses who invested over $50 million and provided upwards of 400 jobs in the park. We fully believe that providing water and sewer to the entire length of US 331 will spur economic growth and facilitate hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs for Walton County. This has been a complicated process which we worked very hard on to ensure that our application was as thorough and complete as possible prior to submission. We look forward to working with the Triumph Board and staff to move our application quickly through the process.”
“This was a long and grueling process. We felt certain that in order to be successful we needed an all hands on deck approach. This included our engineering department, public works, planning, and outside consultants. While the application was a lengthy document requiring specific expertise to complete, even more complicated were the working documents, demonstrating and supporting the findings in the application. There were certain business analytics, statistics and calculations required in order to provide a full spectrum of support of the application findings. A special thanks goes to county staff and consultants in giving this project so much attention and producing a first class, winning application,” says Commissioner Cecilia Jones, Chair of the local Triumph Committee.
Once approved by the Triumph Board, a contract will be submitted to the Walton Board of County Commissioner for consideration. It is our objective that this application will be heard and considered at the September 12 Triumph Gulf Coast Board Meeting.
The County is currently working on other applications for Triumph Funding, including broadband and an environmental research and business innovation center. Each of these applications will be presented for consideration upon completion.
Further, the County is working with Northwest Florida State College in support of their Simulated City Triumph Submission, which when approved, will bring great jobs and opportunities to Walton County.VIEW SUBMISSION
What is TRIUMPH GULF COAST
Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation organized to oversee the expenditure of 75 percent of all funds recovered by the Florida attorney general for economic damages to the state that resulted from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is required to administer the distribution of the funds to be used for the recovery, diversification, and enhancement of the eight Northwest Florida counties disproportionately affected by the oil spill. Those counties include Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin and Wakulla.
Triumph Gulf Coast was originally created in 2013. The first five board members were appointed by the Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The board operated in an unofficial capacity until June 2017.
On June 2, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed the legislation that officially appropriated funds to the nonprofit corporation. The original board then took immediate steps to file official Articles of Incorporation and arrange for the transfer and acceptance of the first $300 million from the oil spill settlement to investment accounts under the control of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. On June 30, 2017, the final two board members were appointed from two of the four least populated counties, as required by the new legislation.
For more information about Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. please contact:
What is the Local TRIUMPH Committee
A steering committee that provides public input and vision for economic development projects submitted to Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. The committee is comprised of an appointee from each District Commissioner, a representative from each municipality in Walton County, representative from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, representative of the Walton County School Board, and a representative from the Northwest Florida State College. The Committee provides review and recommendation of economic development projects within Walton County to the Board of County Commissioners further to be submitted to the Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.
Local TRIUMPH Committee Members
- Chairman (Non-voting) - D2 Commissioner Danny Glidewell
- District 1 Appointee – Gus Andrews
- District 2 Appointee – Juliet Milam
- District 3 Appointee – Bill Fletcher
- District 4 Appointee – Bob Brooke
- District 5 Appointee – Bonnie McQuiston
- City of Freeport Representative ‑ Mayor Russ Barley
- City of DeFuniak Springs Representative - Mel Smigielski
- City of Paxton Representative - Mayor Hayward Thomas
- Sheriff’s Office Representative– Major Joe Preston
- School Board Representative‑ Kim Kirby
- Northwest Florida State College Representative ‑ Jeremy Goss
NORTHWEST FLORIDA FORWARD
Northwest Florida FORWARD is a regional strategic initiative focused on driving economic vitality and growth in the Florida Panhandle. The regional strategy is based upon grassroots input and is supported and implemented by local government, business, educational and community leaders from across the region. A steering committee, consisting of representatives from five key regional organizations in Northwest Florida, drives strategy development and implementation, and supports the efforts of Council Chairs and their members as they build a diverse and vibrant regional economy.