In October 2021, Okaloosa County residents voted to pass the countywide bed-tax expansion via mail-in ballot.
- As part of the expansion, 12.5% of the annual Tourist Development Tax collections are set aside for Okaloosa municipalities.
- You’ll remember, the City of Destin gets 48.5% of the 12.5% pot of money.
Now, the Tourist Development Council have asked the municipalities to request their allocation of the 12.5% through the submission of Expenditure Plans.
- The Expenditure Plans are due to the TDC by March 15, 2022.
For the City of Destin, funding allocations available to request at this time are $1,104,920 for FY22 and $1,515,625 for FY23.
To qualify for the funding, each project must show a direct correlation to increased and/or improved tourism and tourist experience to comply with state statute.
On Monday night, the council approved the following project requests:
- Harbor Boardwalk – Repair and Replacement of the Harbor Boardwalk for remaining unimproved areas.
- Captain Royal Melvin Park and Plaza Project – Funding for the completion.
- Shore at Crystal Beach – Acquisition of the remaining property at Shore at Crystal Beach Park.
Harbor Boardwalk – $500,000 request
A portion of the Harbor Boardwalk decking boards have already been replaced with WEAR deck boards, along with other structural improvements.
- The City of Destin would like to replace the remaining portion of the Harbor Boardwalk deck boards and make any needed structural repairs necessary.
“The older boardwalk sections are worn, damaged, and pose a dangerous hazard to the public,” according to the city’s application. “Due to the fact the worn and damaged boards may present risk management issues, repairs are necessary to meet requirements, where health and public safety or the conservation of public resources needs to be preserved.”
Captain Royal Melvin Park – $200,000 request
As reported yesterday, completion of the Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park is scheduled for end of April. And while the project has been active lately, the city has faced some unexpected change orders with additional associated costs.
- Additionally, the city has finishing work to complete outside of the contract with GLC, the contractor.
This finishing work will include irrigation and landscaping along with some additional amenities.
Shore at Crystal Beach
An Interlocal Agreement exist between the County and the City of Destin for the acquisition, development, maintenance, and other matters related to Phase 1 of the public beach acquisition project.
- As part of the expansion of Shore at Crystal Beach, the City of Destin & Okaloosa County both ponied up money to purchase three properties adjacent to the existing public beach access in order to provide 251 feet of linear beach.
- Two of the properties have been acquired.
Destin intends to use $404,920 of the FY22 12.5% TDC allocation and $1,515,625 of the FY23 12.5% TDC allocation to advance this initiative, according to the city.
- The Phase 1 project still requires the acquisition of one additional property and the development of the site.
The City of Destin is also submitting an additional Funding Request for continued Waterfront and Beach Operations.
Once the applications have been reviewed, the TDC plans to bring the recommended projects to the Okalooosa Board of County Commissioners in May and June 2022 for approval.