By August 25, 2017 Read More →

Hwy 79 Corridor project moving right along and building support across Washington & Holmes counties ……….

Economic growth the key to the future of both counties.


by Kathy Foster


Ted Everett and Jim Town were at the Aug. 24th meeting of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce to update attendees concerning the ongoing Hwy 79 Corridor project directed toward bringing economic development along the Hwy 79 corridor that will impact both Washington and Holmes counties.


Noting that “a lot of positive things have happened” concerning the project,  Everett said while those promoting the project didn’t get the complete amount of funding requested from the Florida Legislature this year ($3 million), they did receive $1 million and expect to receive another $1.9 million in rural infrastructure funding in the next Legislative session to complete the project.


Additionally, Everett said the Washington County Board of County Commissioners earlier in the week had approved $5,000 to fund engineering work on the project and the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners will be approached later this month for another $5,000 to help cover engineering costs.


Everett said currently those overseeing the project are working to establish a Corridor Authority comprised of one elected official each from Bonifay, Holmes County, and Washington County, along with one business person from each of those entities.  This group of individuals will develop rules and regs for what goes on in the Corridor once it is established.


Everett said Hwy 79 was selected for the proposed development because it will eventually have more traffic than Hwy 77 which runs through Washington County.  He said it just comes down to the fact that a great deal of the traffic from northern Mid-America is being funneled down  Hwey 77 to the Gulf Coast beaches and development of businesses there will help solve a common problem for both counties  … the need for more jobs.


Everett said the creation of the Hwy 79 Corridor project will create opportunities for capital investment and jobs for the rural area.  He said it comes down to the fact that “the more traffic count there is the better it is for business.”  He added that both counties want to work together to create jobs.


Along with creating more business opportunities,  Everett said the project will mean more revenue for both counties.  He explained that there will be impact fees paid to the Authority once it is legally established and estimated that 90% of the impact fees will actually go back to the county in which the business is located.  Additionally, since the water and sewer lines will come from the City of Bonifay, that entity will receive increased revenue and both counties will probably see increased gasoline sales tax revenue.










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