Dunkin’ in Okaloosa 🍩

To: Daily Rundown Readers

TOGETHER WITH

Good morning!

Yesterday afternoon in Fort Walton Beach was something else. Not only was there a bomb threat at the Courthouse Annex on Lewis Turner Blvd., but there was a fatal shooting in the Green Acres area of that side of town as well.

Around 1:45pm, the courthouse was evacuated and traffic was at a standstill in front of the building as all lanes of traffic on Lewis Turner Boulevard were temporarily closed due to the threat.

Law enforcement then began re-routing traffic through Country Club road in the Kenwood neighborhood and finally opened up the lanes after nearly 2.5 hours.

If you were stuck in this traffic, you know how bad it was. Thankfully, after a throughout search, the building and parking lot were cleared with no devices found.

Right around the same time, just before 2pm, a fatal shooting took place in the Willow Bend area off Schneider Drive. Law enforcement is looking for a silver/gray Kia Soul in connection with the incident. OCSO believe the vehicle was occupied by two black men, one of whom was wearing a red hat. 

Explore Grayton Beach State Park, Topsail Hill Preserve for the day at no charge

Summer visitors to South Walton will once again be able to enjoy free day-use admission to Grayton Beach State Park and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park from Memorial Day through Labor Day. 

The Walton County Tourist Development Council is paying the cost of entry for day-use visitors in order to increase available parking for beachgoers during the peak visitation season, as well as raise awareness of the variety of eco-tourism activities South Walton offers. This year marks the seventh year of admission coverage for Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the fifth for Grayton Beach State Park. 

“We’re happy to once again cover the day-use admission to both parks,” says interim TDC Director Jason Cutshaw. “Visitors and locals will both experience benefits from free access to the state parks beach accesses, parking, picnic and restroom facilities. This is also a wonderful opportunity to encourage everyone to explore the beautiful natural resources in our state parks.”

The free day-use admission is available to visitors during normal operating hours, generally 8 a.m. to sunset. Free day-use admission began on Memorial Day weekend and extends through Labor Day.

For more information on Topsail Hill Preserve State Park click here.
For more information on Grayton Beach State Park click here.

Dunkin’ Donuts to possibly open distribution center in Crestview, bringing jobs for locals 🍩

At last Tuesday’s Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Commissioners granted a 10-year property tax exemption (EDATE) to Dunkin’ Donuts in an effort to bring the donut-maker’s new distribution center to Crestview.

  • Under the Florida Constitution and Florida Statutes, the County has the authority to grant property tax exemptions since the voters granted that authority to Okaloosa County on August 26, 2014.
  • EDATE: This is called an Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption

Project Dunk (as it was referred to in the agenda) will build a new 24,500 sq.ft. food manufacturing facility on Adora Teal Way in Crestview, FL., with the final goal of creating 60+ jobs.

According to the terms with the county, here’s what Dunkin’ plans to do:

  • Construct a new facility consisting of 24,500 square feet of Food Manufacturing space
  • Through December 31, 2022, Dunkin’ invest a minimum of $4,459,585 in the construction of a new facility, including the purchase of new equipment.
  • Create at least 10 full-time equivalent jobs paying an average annual wage equal to or in excess of 110% of the average annual wage for Okaloosa County during each of the tax years for which the EDATE Exemption is sought.
  • Hire locals: Dunkin’ shall use its best efforts to hire employees residing within Okaloosa County and to use local suppliers for its goods and services.

💰 About the money: Average wage of the 10 new employees will be $50,000 (110% of the average wage in Okaloosa County)

“They’re bringing in a business to a piece of dirt right now that has a few trees on it and it’s not producing anything,” said Commissioner Paul Mixon. “So what we’re doing as a county is saying in 10 years, this income is going to be coming based on the assessed value into our general revenues because of the Ad Valorem Tax.”

“This is allowing us an opportunity to grow and expand, but not put the emphasis on the business or the hardship on the business right away to pay those taxes,” Mixon continued. “We’re really incentivizing them to come to our area, bring their business, with the expectation that their business stays here much longer than 10 years.”

💵 The total savings for Dunkin’ would be $25,851 for Tangible Personal Property and $99,095 for Real Property – Building & Improvements only

Dunkin’ Donuts is reportedly planning to make their final decision at the end of the month.

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5-year-old boy dies at hospital after drowning in Navarre
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5-year-old boy dies at hospital after drowning in Navarre
A 5-year-old boy died at the hospital after drowning in Navarre Saturday night, Navarre’s Fire Chief announced Monday. The family identifies the boy as Zaten Clark. The family was on vacation during the incident.

Ok, that’s all I have for you this morning. Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Jared

p.s. What did you think of this morning’s newsletter? Hit the reply button and let me know!

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