SHALIMAR — The Okaloosa County Commission on Tuesday approved using $395,000 in county half-cent sales tax revenue to buy a 40-acre property that will buffer and benefit the Sheriff’s Office’s training facility by Crestview.
The property stands between the facility, which includes a shooting range and is adjacent to Grimes Avenue, and Arena Road. The land will serve as a buffer to the range and provide access off Arena Road to the training facility.
The property will be purchased from Crestview Investment Co., LLC. An appraisal conducted for the Sheriff’s Office determined the land’s appraised value to be about $433,000, according to county information.
In February, the commission approved spending up to $2.4 million in half-penny sales tax money to improve the training facility. Proposed upgrades include construction of a two-story, 10,000-square-foot building that would include indoor space to train for active-shooter scenarios.
Local law-enforcement officers need adequate places to train in order to protect the general population, Commissioner Trey Goodwin said Tuesday.
Commissioner Graham Fountain said first responders from an array of agencies, such as state law-enforcement agencies, also train at the Sheriff’s Office’s training facility.
Also during the meeting, County Administrator John Hofstad announced the hiring of Steve Schmidt, who will help manage all of the county’s half-cent sales tax projects.
Schmidt had worked for the city of Destin for more than 10 years, including a stint as deputy city manager from October 2017 until this past January. Destin City Manager Lance Johnson has said that Schmidt and the city mutually agreed to move in a different direction.