State defense grants coming this way (DOCUMENT)

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Okaloosa County learned Monday it had received two state defense infrastructure grants, one for $200,000 to use for land acquisition in the Shoal River basin near Duke Field.

FILE PHOTO | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 09:54 AM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa and Santa Rosa county officials learned Monday they’d received hundreds of thousands of dollars in state defense infrastructure grants.

“That’s phenomenal,” Okaloosa County Administrator Jim Curry said upon hearing the news.

Okaloosa County received two grants. One is for $200,000 to use for land acquisition in the Shoal River basin near Duke Field. The second is an $181,245 grant that will go toward improvements to the intersection of Martin Luther King and Downs Road near the back entrance to Hurlburt Field.

Santa Rosa County Commissioner Don Salter said $200,000 in state grant funds would help fund “ongoing land acquisition around Naval Air Station Whiting Field.”

Read a press release announcing the grants.

“The grant will allow our county to continue to purchase land and conservation easements around the base and its many outlying fields to prevent encroachment and other incompatible land uses,” Salter said in an email.

Okaloosa County’s Shoal River Military Installation Buffering Project funding is the second $200,000 installment from the state for land preservation along the Shoal River, said Jeff Littrell, director of the county’s water and sewer department.

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