CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles says a project to construct a parking lot where the Piggly Wiggly store once sat at the corner of Beech Avenue and Wilson Street is right on track.
In early 2016, county commissioners approved acquisition of the parcel of land home to a vacant, dilapidated building after the grocery store’s closure.
The plan was to demolish the building and supply additional parking for the adjacent Brackin Building, which houses offices for the county Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector and Property Appraiser offices, along with several others.
Those dreams became a reality and the building was demolished in early 2017. Since then, the county has worked to come up with a design of the projected parking lot. Boyles presented the design to the Community Redevelopment Agency to look over, since the lot will be within their district.
The conceptual plan includes 20 standard internal parking spots, nine standard 60 degree roadside parking spots, two handicap accessible parking spots required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a 400-square-foot restroom facility, picnic tables, cornhole boards, table tennis, grassed stadium seating, a mural, a play structure, a rock wall and an events board.
During a previous meeting, CRA members asked Boyles if bathrooms could be added to the design. On Thursday, Boyles returned with a conceptual plan that did indeed include bathrooms; however, the cost of maintaining the bathrooms would fall on the CRA, according to Boyles.
Boyles said they would like to construct the bathrooms consistent with the other facilities in the district. CRA Commissioner Doug Faircloth suggested spending some extra money, but making the bathrooms vandal-proof with concrete vanities and steel toilets and sinks.
According to Boyles, funding is available and approved for the county’s budget for the current fiscal year; therefore, the design will be completed and construction should begin early 2018.
Whitten said part of the CRA’s Redevelopment Plan includes a section on beautification, greening and parking within the district, so this project coincides with that mission.
Boyles said the next step is to have employees of the public works departments from the city and the county meet to discuss logistics, as well as the legal staffs from each government creating a base interlocal agreement.