CRESTVIEW — In almost one month, Okaloosa County voters will have a chance to decide on the 10-year, local option, half-cent sales tax referendum (LOST).
But what exactly will this sales tax — also called a surtax — fund for the north end of Okaloosa County?
The Okaloosa County commissioners have a list of proposed projects that could be funded by LOST revenue.
However, that list has not been finalized as of this writing.
Commissioners and the county’s Infrastructure Surtax Advisory Committee will meet at the County Administration Building in Shalimar on Oct. 10 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the potential projects and allow public input.
At the Oct. 4 Crestview Chamber of Commerce meeting Okaloosa County Commission Chairman Graham Fountain spoke about the sales tax.
“Ya’ll know me, what you see is what you get,” Fountain said. “We’ve got to the point where we’re running on the same or less millage rate than we were back when our population was 110,000 people.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimation, Okaloosa County’s population was at almost 203,000 as of July 1, 2017.
The projects are part of an effort by the county to benefit traffic issues especially in the Crestview area, Fountain said.
“Whether you live in the south end and you work here or your trucks are going back and forth, you’re sitting in traffic,” Fountain said.
The goal would be eventually to have a bypass going all around the city of Crestview, according to Fountain.
“It’s not a north/south county issue,” Fountain said. “It is an Okaloosa County issue.”
Among those outside the city, here are Crestview improvements listed on the proposed projects document.
John King Widening
According to the proposed projects document, this project would allow for widening the road between State Road 85 and Live Oak Church Road.
The county would also consider intersection improvements and additional lanes, the document says.
Crestview Northwest Bypass
Okaloosa County looks to match funding with the Florida Department of Transportation for a Project Development and Environment study using revenue from the sales tax, the project document says.
During a PD&E study, “design options and their social and environmental effects are examined,” according to the FDOT website.
Rasberry Road Corridor
Rasberry Road, off of Antioch Road, would be phase five of the county’s southwestern bypass project.
The Rasberry Road project would receive funding from both Okaloosa County and the City of Crestview, the proposed project document states.
According to the document, the total for this project is $9 million. The county would contribute $500,000.
More information about the potential projects will be available on the Okaloosa County and city of Crestview websites as projects become more concrete, county officials said.