Okaloosa County stormwater project could start this spring
CRESTVIEW — Almost $706,000 worth of Okaloosa County funding will be spent on improving a flood-prone portion of Meigs Drive near Shalimar this spring, the County Commission agreed Tuesday.
The low-lying part of Meigs Drive that runs east-west along the shoreline of Lake Vivian is frequently closed after it gets over-topped by storm surges, torrential rains and even by unusually high tides or wind-driven waves, according to county Public Works Director Jason Autrey.
The area serves as a major discharge point for a large portion of Port Dixie’s stormwater. The upcoming improvement project will include raising the road and improving the stormwater conveyance beneath it, according to Autrey.
The area is in Commission District 2, represented by Carolyn Ketchel. At Tuesday’s meeting, she said she has heard from many residents who are concerned about the frequent flooding on Meigs.
Ketchel added that she was thrilled to make the motion to approve a contract with Dalton Brothers Inc. of Fort Walton Beach to make the improvements.
The work could take almost a year after the company receives the county’s notice to proceed.
The total project cost is $705,896. County officials plan to pay the bulk of it with $450,000 worth of stormwater fund revenue and use local option half-cent sales tax money to cover the rest.
In other business Tuesday, the board:
• Approved finalizing an agreement with Eglin Air Force Base to study the possible expansion of the base’s west side area near State Road 85 and Lewis Turner Boulevard/State Road 189.
The potential expansion could involve major transportation network changes, such as the eventual removal of the traffic light at state roads 85 and 189.
• Approved an ordinance to establish a golf cart district in a large part of the Wright area.
The new district is bounded by Carmel Drive and a portion of Racetrack Road to the north, James Lee Road to the east, Echo Circle and a part of the Cinco Bayou waterway to the south and an area just east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the west.
The ordinance allows golf carts to be driven on many Wright-area streets with a posted speed limit of 25 mph or less. They’re not permitted, however, on the state-maintained Beal Parkway and high-volume county roads such as Carmel Drive, Mayflower Avenue, Denton Boulevard and James Lee Road.