CRESTVIEW — Four “beach ambassadors” soon will start mingling with visitors at various local beaches, the Okaloosa County Commission agreed Tuesday.
In a pilot program that will run from Memorial Day through Labor Day, these new county employees will educate people about things such as rip currents and the beach warning flag system.
The roving ambassadors also will share details on local attractions and be available to help clear up possible disputes between beachgoers and beach vendors over chair and umbrella setups.
Two of the employees will work on the beaches on Okaloosa Island and two will work on the beaches on either side of Henderson Beach State Park in Destin. They’ll be able to use a county ATV while on the beach.
The county plans to have each ambassador work 29 hours per week. The $31,500 estimated cost of the four positions will be paid for with county Tourist Development Department revenue, TDD Director Jennifer Adams said.
In response to a question from Commissioner Graham Fountain, Adams said the ambassador program could be expanded and be in place for next year’s spring break season.
In other business Tuesday, the commission:
• Approved a three-year contract with Island Sands Beach Service of NW FL, LLC of Destin to provide beach chair/umbrella services at Beasley, Marler and Brackin parks on Okaloosa Island and James Lee Park in Destin. The county will receive $155,000 in annual revenue from the company.
• Tabled a proposed contract for more than $1.5 million worth of repairs and upgrades to the exterior of the Emerald Coast Convention Center because of an incomplete cost breakdown. The requested financial information is expected to be provided at the commission’s April 16 meeting.