BOCC rescinds 7-day beach driving permit

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM.

The St. Joe Company, as part of the process of bringing the WindMark Beach development to fruition, deeded some 100 acres to the county and city of Port St. Joe for a recreational complex.

Within a year or so of the donation, however, the real estate market cratered along with property values, constraining the budgets of local governments.

The city and county, which had each pledged at least $600,000 to the complex as part of an interlocal agreement, found funding the complex increasingly out of reach and within the past three years have agreed to indemnify each party from the project.

Research had indicated that assessing an extra penny in bed tax – a single penny currently brings in roughly $220,000 – to provide the money to fund a recreational complex would be proper use of those public funds.

In addition, a recreational complex, with softball, baseball and soccer fields, could be a significant revenue generator.

At the last regular meeting of the TDC advisory board Jenkins noted that recreational sports provide $4 million in revenue to the Bay County TDC.

With a complex in Honeyville that could be expanded, county commissioners and the TDC are examining the potential to the county of bolstering the marketing of the county as a destination for sports tournaments year round.

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