'Resolving the longstanding issues': Regions Way special assessment progresses

Staff Reporter
The Destin Log
Regions Way, which has fallen into serious disrepair, stretches from U.S. Highway 98 to Crystal Beach Drive.

As city officials continue to work through the special assessment process for the repair and acquisition of Regions Way, property owners along the dilapidated roadway should expect a notice in their mailboxes.

The letter will notify owners that their property is subject to the non-ad valorem special assessment to fund the repairs along the roadway which stretches from U.S. Highway 98 to Crystal Beach Drive.

"This will give us ownership of the road and allow us to make the repairs," City Manager Greg Kisela said. "We believe this is the acceptable approach to resolving the longstanding issues with Regions Way."

The project is expected to cost $202,853.84 and improvements include demolishing and reconstructing a substantial portion of the road and ribbon curbing, milling and resurfacing the least degraded sections and incorporating roadside swales for stormwater treatment and control.

The roadway is currently owned by Regions Way of Destin, LLC. Michael Hewitt and Lovencie Gambarella, as well as a KSL, Inc. are listed as management entities, according to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations website.

According to the Okaloosa County Tax Collectors website, Regions Way of Destin, LLC failed to pay its 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, 2014 and 2015 (pending) taxes and was administratively dissolved in 2013. The entity currently owes $4,718.81 in taxes.

Property owners costs will vary based on a formula that takes into account the number of total daily trips generated. The totals are adjusted for the portion of trips that directly use Regions Way.

In the month after the approval of the final assessment resolution, owners will have the ability to prepay their portion of the costs.

Payments made in full before the city actually borrows funds will not be subject to additional financing costs, statutory discount or assessment collection costs.

For example, if an individual property owner — who generated 3.16 total daily trips or 2.53 adjusted total daily trips — chose to prepay their assessment in full, based on documents provided by the city, their payment would total $494.46, based on the preliminary assessment role.

While the costs for a property with a low trip generation could be deemed reasonable, some businesses will bear a much greater burden.

Eye Partners LLC, which has multiple buildings and six parcel identification numbers, would see a prepayment total of $49,124.87. MB Real Estate Partners LLC, which is developing the townhouse project on Crystal Beach Drive, will see a payment of $13,965.26.

Failure to pay the assessment will cause a tax certificate to be issued against a property which could result in the loss of a title.

A public hearing to adopt the final assessment resolution will be held Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Destin City Hall Annex, 4200 Indian Bayou Trail. The meeting is open to the public.