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Kayak Dave
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Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:46 pm

TDC gives thumbs-up for additional beach beautification funding
By Angye Morrison Navarre Press

Santa Rosa County’s Tourist Development Council has approved providing $45,000 to the Navarre Beach beautification project, pending approval from county officials.
The TDC’s South End Committee met Feb. 14 and heard from Jim Taylor and John Lewis, who spoke on behalf of the Navarre Beach Beautification Committee.The duo reported that Phase I of the plan, updating the sign and landscape entrance from U.S. Highway 98 on both the east and west sides, has been completed.
Phase II had been put on hold, while the beautification committee seeks funding and works toward obtaining final approval from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, as well as the state’s Department of Transportation. The approval would give the committee the go-ahead to work in areas where birds nest between the two bridges.
The new funding request centers around the third and fourth phases of the project, which will provide for 10-11 “islands,” consisting of at least one bench, palm trees and ornamental grasses. The committee also plans to increase the number of trash containers in the area and add additional signage.
Ira Mae Bruce, who is part of the South End Committee, said she’d like to see the money obtained through a grant process, rather than through the typical process of sending vouchers to the county for reimbursement.
“It’d be a lot faster that way,” she said, adding that the money, once obtained, should be dispersed to the beautification committee in three increments of $15,000, with each subsequent installment paid only after receipts and evidence of improvements have been provided to the TDC by the beautification committee.
Bruce made a motion that Kate Wilkes,TDC executive director, check to see if seeking grant funds is a viable option, rather than the TDC writing the checks and then waiting to be reimbursed through vouchers submitted to the county.The money, if repaid to the TDC by the county, would come from the 4-cent beach tax.Wilkes is currently checking into this, and will report back to the TDC at a later date.

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