CRESTVIEW, Fla., July 22, 2022—Okaloosa County commissioners approved a progressive step forward for the Holt community during their Tuesday meeting.
The Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a potential package sewer plant project at the Holt Interstate 10 interchange that is contingent upon receiving a minimum of $2 million in funding from the state of Florida.
Florida’s House of Representatives is accepting nonrecurring funding requests from local governments, education entities and privately operated programs to support local initiatives. The state approved $175 million in its fiscal year 2022 budget for late-cycle funding requests.
Approved projects will be selected later this summer.
According to the agenda request for the commissioners board meeting submitted by Deputy County Administrator Craig Coffey, the county would be responsible for design, permitting, construction and operation of an initial wastewater plant and effluent disposal of 100,000 gallons-per-day capacity.
This initial pre-fabricated facility could be expanded in the future.
According to Coffey, a project such as this requires a willing property owner, need or demand, and funding.
The county has identified a landowner who has agreed to donate 50 acres with a 10-year option for purchase of an additional 50 acres at market price when the time comes to expand. The land donation is estimated to be valued between $500,000 to $1 million, according to the agenda request.
In return for the land donation, the landowner, who already has a recreational vehicle campground development order for the area, would receive wastewater credit for use of the utility, said Coffey.
“We did work out a credit for the campground in exchange for the land,” he told the board during the meeting.
The undeveloped interchange at Holt has a lot of potential, according to Vice Chairman and District 3 Commissioner Nathan Boyles.
“An interchange costs $100 million bucks. They are very expensive,” said Boyles. “It’s not a matter of if, but when that area around the Holt interchange will start to develop. Starting that process sooner on the front end ultimately makes for much better development.”
According to Boyles, the county has already received proposals for projects at the Holt interchange.
“We had a developer property owner reach out to us that already has a set of conceptual plans that were drafted some time ago for two projects right there at the interchange,” said Boyles. “One of the biggest hang-ups [for the projects] was utilities.”
The local support grant request form submitted by the county to the state identified two such projects: the previously mentioned large RV campground that has already been permitted, and a large gas station/truck stop to be located on 50 acres at the interchange.
Okaloosa County estimates approximately 120 jobs could be created with the availability of a sewer in the area, according to the grant request form.
The total estimated cost for the package sewer plant is approximately $3 million. Monies beyond the $2 million funding request would come from other types of grants, according to Coffey.
Boyles received resolutions of support from both the Holt Fire District and Holt Water Works Inc. for the project.
“It is an indication of the support that I have coming out of that corner of my district,” said Boyles. “It’s going to be an improved location for the future economic development of our community.”
The five-item list of proposed nonrecurring funding projects for state grants approved by the board July 5 includes development, renovation and replacement projects throughout Okaloosa County. The Holt package sewer plant will be the sixth item on the list.
- $150,000 to develop a countywide workforce housing strategic plan
- $750,000 to replace outdated technology and equipment at Emergency Management
- $750,000 to renovate and replace outdated equipment at the Communications Center
- $1,500,000 to develop a new public beach-front park jointly with the City of Destin
- $1,000,000 for the Baker Area recreation Facility to cover and improve the front equestrian arena