Walton County Moves to Open Beaches May 1

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Kurt Lischka, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Walton County

    Notice of Emergency Meeting - Walton County BCC - Thursday, April 23 @ 11:00 am
    Please be advised that the Walton County Board of County Commissioners will hold an Emergency Meeting on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:00am. This meeting will be held at the Walton County Courthouse, located at 571 US Highway 90, DeFuniak Springs, FL.

    StreamLive
    Walton County - Home

    The purpose of this meeting is for the Walton County Board of County Commissioners to discuss options regarding Walton County beaches in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

    This meeting will be open to the public on a limited basis in order to adhere to proper social distancing protocols.

    Due to the limited seating capacity, this meeting will also be accessible to the public via “Zoom”.

    To participate via Zoom, please see the directions that follow.

    Please click the link below to join the webinar:

    Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now

    Participate via Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

    • US: +1 929 205 6099 or +1 301 715
    You will be prompted to enter the Webinar ID

    • Webinar ID: 916 2867 5151#
    You will be prompted to enter the Participant ID

    • Hit # (No participant ID will be required)
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  2. James Bentwood

    James Bentwood Beach Fanatic

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    Why is no one at the meeting wearing masks?
     
  3. leeboy

    leeboy Beach Lover

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    Tony Anderson talking about how everybody he knows will social distance properly as he is seated 3 feet from stenographer. :doh:
     
  4. leeboy

    leeboy Beach Lover

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    Jay Tusa, TDC:

    Occupancy currently 2% (on the books).

    May bookings by week 8% , 14%, 18%, 24% , 21%
    Usually double these numbers for May
     
  5. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    I just read that they dont open til May 1st. When the closure was set to expire anyway. So basically they put on a show for nothing. They could have just as easily (probably more so) by just letting it expire when it was scheduled to.
     
  6. justhavinfun

    justhavinfun Beach Fanatic

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    Were there any restrictions attached to the decision? It looked like it passed 5-0 and I would guess it will have to be brought to the next BCC meeting next week for comments and a full formal vote
     
  7. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Walton County BCC Directs County Attorney to Draft Language to Open Beaches on May 1st

    During their 11:00 a.m. meeting on Thursday, April 23rd, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) voted to direct the County Attorney, Sidney Noyes, to draft language regarding the opening of Walton County's beaches, and to bring he language forward at the April 28th BCC meeting for a vote.

    As part of the direction, Noyes will be drafting language that would allow all Walton County Beaches to open on May 1st with no time restrictions regarding access. Additionally, the following items are to be included in the language:

    Continue the ban on all beach vending Require that social distancing guidelines as put forth by the CDC are being adhered to Limitation of allowed activities in accordance with Governor's Executive Orders.

    This item will be included on the agenda for a final vote during the BCC's regular meeting on Tuesday, April 28th at 9:00 am in the DeFuniak Springs Board Room located at 571 U.S. Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
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  8. justhavinfun

    justhavinfun Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks Kurt!
     
  9. Mark Edmonds

    Mark Edmonds Beach Crab

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    So May 1st, the first day of a month, is a magical date when it’s suddenly safe to open beaches? If it’s safe now just open them right now. If it’s not, what is so magical about the start of May? This is what causes doubt in public policy, when the days of the month are used to make determinations instead of a data driven response. Millions of dollars are lost everyday with these closures, give the confidence to believe you are operating out of safety not convenient dates.
     
  10. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Agree about being safe and data driven and being prepared for the rise in cases. The situation in SoWal is that we have very little testing, treatment capabilities, and very few hospital beds like in a larger city. And yet we get the population of a very large city this time of year when rentals and beaches are open.

    May 1 coincides with the expiration of the ban on vacation rentals. If rentals are open the beaches will effectively be also because we will be inundated without the ability to enforce closed beaches. It seems our state government is intent on opening Florida.

    If you look at the state and county numbers at the link below, you'll see a lot of declining bell curves, good news for sure, and probably what will be used to re-open. Unfortunately, declining infections are just a piece of the puzzle.

    ArcGIS Dashboards
     
  11. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    Don't be deluded into thinking they are setting this date based on it being safe. They have absolutely no data to make this decision based on safety. Think about it: how in the world would they know the level of contamination from every source these visitors are coming from? This decision is so shortsighted, it borders on criminal. I have no idea why people can't understand that the problem is not social distancing on the beach. You can stay away each other there to a certain extent. The problem is when these visitors go to the convenience stores and grocery stores, and restaurants, if they are allowed to open. Just picture a typical scene of the masses packed into Publix on a typical Memorial Day. Does that seem safe to you?
     
  12. Mark Edmonds

    Mark Edmonds Beach Crab

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    The point is they are not making any decisions based on safety. By picking a date to open instead of saying “based on the data and recommendations from medical professionals...” it shows just how pointless all of this is. If you are making decisions based on safety then fine, leave it locked down until the data shows it is safe. But when you act like there is some magical day like May 1st, you prove that it is pointless to be shutdown over the next week. If you are going to disregard public safety then just open today. Why should restaurants, renters and every other business and local suffer for a single extra day? There is no difference between May 1st and April 24th other than lost revenue with no increase in public health.
     
  13. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    I do what I can. :lol:
     
  14. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    How about an emergency meeting to decide how to aid the residents and small businesses of Walton County? I see other counties and cities providing monetary aid. Walton County is one of the richest areas on the planet. The people of this county have protected the environment and worked hard to create the wealth. It is time to give some back to the hard working people who created the golden goose economy.
     
  15. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    The governor will determine what happens and when regarding restaurants and rentals. I would think the county could just wait for these decisions. But they are watching our neighbors open beaches for locals and I guess they are trying to do something similar. As far as the date, I think it gives them and Sheriff and South Walton Fire a few days to prepare for beach patrol, enforcement, etc.

    I am proud of Walton County to have closed the beaches in mid March when things were crazy crowded. They acted to protect the community. I would like to see them wait a while longer to open up the beaches for many reasons. Groups of 10 is safe social distancing? I don't think so. People are still visiting. And now more will come.
     
  16. Poppaj

    Poppaj SoWal Insider

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    In addition it would help if our governor would get the unemployment benefits to the people who are suffering. Florida ranks at the bottom in processing claims.
     
  17. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    Just a reminder: Memorial Day happens in May. Good luck.
     
  18. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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  19. Ty Webb

    Ty Webb Beach Lover

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    YOU stay inside with your curtains drawn and with your mask on. Problem solved.
     
  20. UofL

    UofL Beach Fanatic

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    In ky the department handling the claims had to hire up to 1200 people to answer the phones. Normally it would be 10 or 12 people. Huge amount of claims to work through in most states. (But we do have the most popular governor.) Ellen
     

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