On Tuesday night, the Fort Walton Beach City Council unanimously voted to execute a Memorandum of Agreement with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Landing improvements.
- On May 25th, City Manager Michael Beedie told the Tourist Development Council that this memorandum was coming, but he wasn’t given a timeline on when it would arrive.
Since August 2017, the city has been working with Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to permit the Landing Improvement Project.
- While it didn’t take as long to get the DEP permits, the city has yet to receive the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit, which has been the major hold-up.
- The USACOE permit has been held up in historical review by the State of Florida for over two years due to the presence of historical artifacts in the area of the proposed improvements.
In 2020, the city spent roughly $15,000 to hire an archeologists to drill some pilot holes throughout the park. This was done in order to submit a report to the Army Corps based on comments the city received from the Seminole Tribe, according Beedie.
“We submitted that report last year and the response we got back was that a Memorandum of Agreement for archeological requirements would be drafted by the Army Corps and the State Historic Preservation Office,” he said.
- Due to the presence of historical artifacts in the area of the proposed improvements, the City will be required to employ an archaeologist during the Landing Improvements in the areas identified in the MOA.
Once all parties sign the Memorandum, the City of Fort Walton Beach could have their final permit within a few weeks. Once the permit is in hand, the city will immediately issue the bid packages for the renovations.
“This is a huge step for us,” said Beedie. “This is what we’ve been waiting for so we can keep this project moving forward.”
- After 2.5 years, “The Landing” renovations remain in historical and cultural review
- The gazebo at The Landing in Fort Walton Beach has been demolished
- The new playground at The Landing is now open
- Venture Hive demolition has started at The Landing (Photos)
- Dead trees and Venture Hive building to be removed from The Landing