CRESTVIEW — While a potential feasibility study the Okaloosa County Commission plans to discuss Tuesday would include examining ways to protect local beaches from major storms, it would not require the county to perform any beach restorations.
That’s according to county Tourist Development Department Director Jennifer Adams.
The commission anticipates deciding whether to notify the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the county’s intent to use county bed tax money to help pay for the potential study, which reportedly would not last more than three years and is not expected to cost more than $3 million.
The study would evaluate the coastline from the El Matador condominiums on Okaloosa Island east to the Walton County line. Jim Trifilio, the county’s coastal management coordinator, has said that among other issues the study would evaluate, property by property, what damages would occur from any given storm.
But, "This feasibility study in no way obligates the county to construct a beach restoration project or any other project," Adams said in an agenda request seeking the commission’s approval of the letter of intent to the Corps. "However, if the county ever wants to have a federal funding partner for hurricane protection and storm damage reduction projects, a feasibility study must be completed."
She said the actual cost-share amount still must be determined, and that the county might be able to negotiate in-kind services to count toward the required funding match. The in-kind services could include environmental impact investigations.
The county Tourist Development Department last May and the commission last June approved a similar letter of intent and the use of up to $3 million in TDD money for the study.
But the Corps recently received additional money from Congress and has requested a new letter of intent, according to Adams.
Tuesday's meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at Crestview City Hall.