Local governments seek $21 million from Triumph

Three county taxing authorities are seeking more than $21 million from Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. to mitigate the anticipated erosion of revenue streams by Hurricane Michael. The board, charged with disbursing over $1 billion to eight Northwest Florida counties over the next 15 years, was scheduled to meet for the first time in Gulf County the week after Hurricane Michael.

The Triumph board will meet for the first time in Gulf County on Jan. 14 at the Gulf/Franklin campus of Gulf Coast State College.

The board, charged with disbursing over $1 billion to eight Northwest Florida counties over the next 15 years, was scheduled to meet for the first time in Gulf County the week after Hurricane Michael.

And the changing landscape local governments and the Triumph board are examining is highlighted in a pre-application from the Board of County Commissioners, city of Port St. Joe and Gulf County School Board.

The BOCC voted in November to back away from an application, approved for $13 million in grant funding pending a final contract, to construct a floating dry dock in the turning basin of the federally-authorized shipping channel.

Anticipating significant shortfalls in property taxes in the next few years due to the damage inflicted by Michael to property values, the three governing bodies joined together to seek funds “to continue to operate without an increase to the current ad valorem millage rate,” detailed the pre-application.

The BOCC is seeking $1 million for the current fiscal year and $3.2 million in funds in each of the following two years.

That totals $7.4 million over three years.

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