Walton County Update: Beaches to Open on May 1st with Strict Restrictions

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UPDATE from Walton County Board of Commissioners April 28, 2020:

Walton County BCC Passes Resolution 2020-35;

Beaches to Open on May 1st with Strict Restrictions

During the Walton County Board of County Commissioner’s (WCBCC) meeting that took place April 28th, the following action was taken by the WCBCC regarding the opening of the Beaches of Walton County.

The WCBCC has passed Resolution 2020-35, which updates the County’s Local State of Emergency.

This Resolution was passed with the following language regarding the opening of Walton County’s beaches and parks which will become effective on Friday, May 1st.

Beginning on Friday, at 12:01 a.m. May 1, 2020, the beaches within Walton County, Florida will be open with the following restrictions:

  • All permits for vending on the beach shall be suspended and no vending on the beach, including private beaches, shall be permitted while this Local State of Emergency remains in effect.

  • All permits for beach bonfires shall be suspended. No fire permits will be issued while this Local State of Emergency remains in effect.

  • All special events on the beach shall be suspended and no special events on the beach shall be permitted while this Local State of Emergency remains in effect.

  • Individuals on the beach shall limit their activities to walking, jogging, fishing, swimming, paddleboarding, surfing and boating.

  • Groups of more than ten (10) people are prohibited, and a minimum of six (6) foot social distancing shall apply.

In addition to the action above, the WCBCC has taken action to open all County parks and the Eagle Springs Golf Course. No more than ten (10) people and a minimum of six (6) foot social distancing shall apply at all parks and the golf course.

At this time, the Governor’s Executive Orders 20-91 (Safer at Home) and 20-103 (Short-Term Rental Ban), continue to be in effect until April 30, 2020. The County will continue to monitor any action taken by the Governor regarding these or other Executive Orders, and will release information as it is received.

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On Wednesday, April 1st, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91 which requires all persons in Florida to “limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.”

The Executive Order incorporates by reference guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security and a Miami-Dade County Emergency Order, what is defined as essential services and essential activities.

As of Saturday, April 4, 2020 Walton County had 21 Confirmed Covid-19 Cases. There have been 8 new confirmed cases in the past week.

In order to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order, Walton County Local Government is taking following steps:

  • All county employees which are not deemed “essential” will work from home for the duration of the Executive Order
  • Limited TDC Beach Maintenance Staff will remain in service
  • The following employees are deemed “essential” and will continue to report to work: limited Public Works Road and Bridge Crews, limited Fleet Maintenance, limited Facilities Maintenance and Custodial Staff, North Walton Mosquito Control, Building Department Staff, County Probation, Landfill Staff, TDC Beach Code Enforcement; One (1) Purchasing Employee to receive shipments of essential supplies and one (1) courier to maintain essential communication
  • The Landfill will be closed to the public; however, the Landfill will remain open for commercial activity
  • All county recreational facilities will be closed to the public; while parks are closed, boat ramps will remain open
  • The Planning Department will continue to accept permits online and will maintain contact with the public via email and telephone; however, the Planning Department will be closed to the public
  • The Building Department will remain open to the public to accept permit applications; however, the Building Department will prioritize essential permitting (i.e., residential permitting) as defined by the Executive Order
  • The EOC will continue to operate at Level 2 activation.

In response to the Governor’s Executive order, Walton County Board of County Commissioners  voted to update Executive Order 2020-08 extending beach closures to all beaches in Walton County. Beginning on Friday, April 3rd, “It will be unlawful to walk or remain on any beach in Walton County.”

Be advised:

Administration Office – Open, Limited public access, by appointment only.

Building Department – Limiting public to the lobbies. Practicing social distancing. No reduction in services.

GIS Department – Closed.

Human Resources Department – Closed.

HUD – Closed to walk-ins.

OMB/Purchasing Department – Closed to the Public.

Office of the County Attorney – Closed to the Public.

Parks & Recreation Department – Closed.

Planning Department – Closed to walk-ins. All

Planning Department Building Permit Reviews

continue to be reviewed and issued as appropriate.

Probation – Open.

Public Works Department – Closed to the public.

Veteran’s Services – Closed to walk-ins.

County Facilities

Morrison Springs and Grady Brown parks are

closed to the public. Boat launches are open.

Eagle Springs Golf – Closed to the public.

Walton County public libraries are closed.

Landfill – Closed to the public.

All county parks are closed to the public; boat

ramps are open.

Walton County Coastal Seniors– All activities cancelled until further notice.

Message from Walton County Sheriff’s Office

Governor Ron Desantis has issued a 30-day stay-at-home order which goes into effect Friday, April 3rd at 12:01 am. This order directs everyone to stay at home for any reason other than working at essential jobs or participating in essential activities. Operationally, Walton County Sheriff’s Office is fully functioning as it pertains to calls for service and providing fire rescue and animal control services. We are continuing to maintain our commitment to the public by providing public safety services to our community, however, in the interest of transparency, it’s going to be a serious challenge. “We are going to carry out the order with common sense, courtesy, and professionalism,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “At the end of the day each situation is different and what we’re working towards is gaining voluntary compliance while ensuring public safety. We will be as nice to people as they will let us be. An individual is not more important than the whole in this situation. Personal responsibility is critical.”

Sheriff Michael Adkinson will be holding periodic Live Q&A’s on Walton County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during the crisis. We appreciate your patience and support as the COVID-19 situation develops and evolves. We cannot stress this enough…. we are all in this together.

Walton County Tax Collectors Covid-19 Update

Rhonda Skipper, Walton County Tax Collector, would like to share the following information concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic and how we are adjusting to the situation.

  • The Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline of the new Real ID Act for one year due to the coronavirus. It was originally supposed to take effect October 1, 2020. The new deadline is October 21, 2021.
  • The Department of Revenue has extended the property tax deadline to April 15, 2020. This was announced by an Executive Order from Governor DeSantis.
  • The annual Tax Certificate Sale will still take place on June 1st.  This is since holding the certificate sale provides necessary funding for local governments and school districts.
  • Pursuant to Executive Order 20-52, issued March 15, 2020 by Governor Ron DeSantis, please observe the following:
    • Extend the effective period of driver licenses and identification cards with expiration dates of March 16, 2020, to April 15, 2020, for thirty (30) days.

(Be advised, this does not include suspensions or revocations.)

    • Waive the delinquent renewal fees during the extension period for these driver licenses and identification cards.
    • We are available to assist our CDL holders at 850-892-8121
  • Tax Collectors across the State of Florida are partnering with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in extending expiring commercial driver licenses (CDL) and waiving commercial truck hours-of-service regulations and other related regulations so emergency supplies, equipment, commodities and resources for the state’s response to COVID-19 can continue deliveries throughout the state.
    • Please call 850-892-8121 for any questions you may have concerning your Commercial Driver License (CDL)
    • Visit us on-line at: www.waltontaxcollector.com

Currently all lobbies are closed, but our Customer Call Center remains open. Telephone hours of operation are 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. On-Line Service available at www.waltontaxcollector.com to:

-Replace or renew a Florida driver license or ID card.

-Replace or renew registration for a motor vehicle, vessel or mobile home.

-Obtain a paper title or to pay property taxes.

    • Tag Express Same Day Pickup- renew your registration online by Express then come to the office and we will bring it out to you
    • Working on implementing an online chat for customers

We will continue to closely monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) through the CDC and other agencies as we continue to ensure the protection of our customers and employees. Thank you all for your patience and understanding during this time.

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