Holt park construction continues after delay

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Work restarted on building a new park for the Holt community.

HOLT, Fla., April 25, 2019—Okaloosa County restarted construction on the Holt community park after the Florida Department of Transportation approved a driveway permit for the project.

Work came to a stop as the FDOT driveway permit process moved through the system.

“That permit was issued by FDOT to the county in February,” said James Puckett, facilities maintenance manager for the Okaloosa County Facility and Parks Division.

With permit in hand, county crews ramped up construction, removing more trees and installing playground equipment.

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Holt’s new park includes playground equipment.

“The first portion of the project will be completed in approximately four weeks,” he said. That includes the playground area. “Additional work on pavilions will occur this summer as crews become available.”

The park is designed with a community center, picnic pavilion, a smaller picnic area, playground, walking trail and parking lot.

The community center will have bathrooms and a covered pavilion.

“The community center building construction is being coordinated with the Holt Fire District,” Puckett said. “They are working on long-term improvements to their facility.”

The 3-acre property is owned by the Holt Volunteer Fire District and plans are to co-locate a new fire station there; however, funding for the construction has been a challenge.

“We have had difficulty finding a source for the funding,” said Jim Connors, Holt Fire District commissioner.

The fire district needs approximately $700,000 to build a structure that would house vehicles and give the volunteer firefighters a place to meet, train and store their equipment.

“We have been searching the grant process but so far have been unsuccessfu,” said Connors. “We are continuing to seek a source or sources for these funds.”

Although work on the park continues, a completion date has not yet been determined.

The park is located off U.S. 90 just east of town where the speed limit signs change from 45 to 55 mph (or 55 to 45 mph, if driving west).

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A walking trail leads to a covered pavilion already constructed in Holt’s new park.

Stephanie Holcombe

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