Triumph money would pay for much of the southwest Crestview bypass project.
CRESTVIEW — The basic, updated terms of a proposed agreement on major grant funding for the southwest Crestview bypass project received the Okaloosa County Commission’s approval on Tuesday.
Pending final approval from the Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. board of directors, the agreement would lead to $64.1 million in Triumph money being awarded for the bypass project, which has a total estimated cost of about $200 million.
The anticipated Triumph funding would come from settlement money from the 2010 BP oil spill. County officials plan to send the commission-approved term sheet to the Triumph board on Friday for its review and final approval.
The bypass would include a wider PJ Adams Parkway, a new Interstate 10 interchange, a new road from I-10 north to U.S. Highway 90 and a new road between Antioch Road and State Road 85 north of the interstate. Design work on the bypass could take several more years.
Among the terms the county must meet to receive the Triumph money is a requirement to have the cash in hand or “firm and enforceable” funding commitments by June 30, 2020, for the entire planning and construction cost of the bypass project.
Minus the anticipated Triumph funding, the county is responsible for securing nearly $135 million for the project. Of that, more than $38 million total is expected to be provided with local-option half-cent sales tax revenue and other sources, and almost $96 million is expected to be committed by the Florida Department of Transportation.
The Triumph funding agreement also contains this “performance metric:” By the 10th anniversary of the start of the agreement, the bypass shall have led to 1,300 new federal government military-sector jobs.
County officials expect the bypass to help retain and create jobs by relieving traffic congestion on existing roads and providing access to upwards of about 2,000 acres of currently undeveloped land for commercial and residential development.
Commissioner Graham Fountain on Tuesday thanked several people, including Triumph Board Chairman Don Gaetz, for helping the county arrive at this stage of the Triumph funding process.
And Commission Chairman Kelly Windes thanked local voters for approving last November’s referendum on the county’s half-cent sales tax, which will provide much of the bypass funding.
In other business Tuesday, the commission agreed with Windes’ request to postpone action on a proposed amendment to the county’s solid waste contract that would have allowed recycled items to go to a landfill.
The board agreed to delay action on this matter until after its Oct. 10 workshop to discuss the county’s recycling practices.