A Better South Walton Fundraiser Party at Bud & Alley's Oct 30

October 26, 2015 by SoWal Staff

A Better South Walton (ABSW) is scaring up a good time at Bud & Alley's this Friday evening, Oct. 30 from 5:30-8 p.m. Suggested donation is $20 and there are some great raffle items. Costumes are welcome if you're headed to a costume party later in the evening. Can't make it? Donate here!

“Sometimes raising funds can be harder than raising the dead but when it comes to South Walton’s future, it’s worth the effort,” said Dave Rauschkolb, speaking on behalf of A Better South Walton. “Join us because there is no denying, Walton County is getting a little spooky these days.”

Earlier this year a group of diverse citizens began exploring solutions to some of South Walton County’s growth challenges. The prospect of a standard-issue Hampton Inn in Seagrove on Scenic 30A was a wake up call. The community that we’ve all come to love is quickly entering its next stage of growth and we question where it will take us. Will we be bystanders or become engaged in the solutions?

A Better South Walton, as a committee of the South Walton Community Council, commissioned a feasibility study in May. This is one step in a three to five year process and is required by state law if a community chooses to pursue a vote of the people on incorporation. The study will help our community determine if incorporating South Walton as its own municipality is a viable option.

ABSW contracted with a chosen consultant for a September completion date for the feasibility study. That consultant was unable to meet that date and we were therefore unable to get the information to the public by the end of September as originally promised. After sending both the first and second drafts to the Florida League of Cities for an independent review, the assessments were that the study was deficient. It became clear we needed to move on, and ABSW terminated our contract with the consultant.

“Our number one goal is to access and present information to our community that is accurate, thorough and errs on the side of conservative financial projections,” said David Pleat, ABSW committee member. “The initial expert analysis did not meet the standards we have set and we are moving forward in a positive direction exploring other professionals in the area of municipal finance.”

Although we are disappointed that the draft study was not of the quality we were led to expect, we remain committed to providing our community with the best possible information. We are interviewing several new consultants and anticipate a smooth transition for our team. This is an unfortunate bump in the long and complex road ahead as we explore our options to improve our much-loved community of South Walton. We appreciate your continued support and will keep you informed as we continue our search for the best solutions.

ABSW invites a robust discussion of the results of the study once completed. A series of meetings will be advertised and posted on our website with dates, times and locations soon. Please see for more information regarding the study, our mission and our core group as well as an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation.

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