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Okaloosa County secures $13.3 million in state budget for local projects

Okaloosa County is set to receive $13,345,517 in state funding for various local projects, as part of Florida’s newly signed $116.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2024-2025. The largest allocation, […]

Okaloosa County is set to receive $13,345,517 in state funding for various local projects, as part of Florida’s newly signed $116.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2024-2025.

The largest allocation, $8,570,517, will go towards remodeling the First Responder & Public Safety Training Center at Northwest Florida State College. This renovation will significantly enhance training facilities for state and local first responders in the region.

  • The project includes upgrades to classrooms, tactical training rooms, emergency medical simulation spaces, and search and rescue practice areas, allowing for more realistic training scenarios.

Okaloosa County will receive $1,500,000 for stormwater improvements in the Lloyd Street and Mayflower area of Fort Walton Beach. The project aims to address issues with aged stormwater infrastructure and an ineffective outfall. It will increase stormwater capacity and install a hydrodynamic separator to improve water quality discharging into Cinco Bayou.

The City of Destin secured $1,000,000 for the Four Prong Lake Emergency Outfall Project. This crucial funding will help prevent flooding in private residences near the lake, which has no natural outlet for stormwater runoff.

A $325,000 allocation will support the Okaloosa-Walton Mental Health and Substance Abuse Pre-Trial Diversion Program. This initiative aims to redirect certain individuals away from incarceration, offering services such as needs assessment, case management, substance use treatment, and relapse prevention.

The First Judicial Circuit will receive $250,000 for a Judicial Cyber-Resilience Initiative. This project will create a robust data backup solution to protect critical court data from potential ransomware attacks.

One Hopeful Place, a local homeless shelter, will get $200,000 for a demolition project to expand its housing capacity. The funds will allow for the removal of concrete wastewater treatment clarifiers, freeing up five acres for additional shelters and affordable housing.

The Forever Warriors Foundation will receive $150,000 to support various aspects of military life and community engagement in areas around Hurlburt, Duke Field, and Eglin. The initiative will cover recruitment and retention resiliency, well-being support, and family support programs.

Lastly, the City of Destin will receive $100,000 for a Harbor Channel Dredge Project. This funding will help alleviate boat traffic issues and address depth concerns within portions of the existing 100-foot-wide Army Corps of Engineers channel.

These allocations represent significant investments in Okaloosa County’s infrastructure, public safety, social services, and community development, addressing a wide range of local needs and priorities.

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