Lions, tigers and bears … not in Washington County: Commissioners reviewing plans for possible drive-through safari park

Washington County Commissioners recognized the Chipley High School varsity boys basketball team during their March 14 meeting. [DIANE M. MOORE | THE NEWS AND ADVERTISER]


A special exemption to operate an animal safari park on two parcels of land designated agriculture/silviculture was approved by the Washington County Board of County Commissioners when they met in regular session March 14.

Owners of the Seacrest Wolf Preserve are in the beginning stages of expanding the area to include a drive-through safari park which will feature grazing animals such as bison, deer and elk. Class I animals which include lions, tigers, bears and such, will not be permitted at the park.

The developer and owners will bring plans and designs in order to be approved for a development order to begin construction on the facility. Those plans will first go through the planning commission before being brought before commissioners.

A recommendation for a live-streaming service was brought to the board by County Administrator Jeff Massey as requested during last month’s meeting. Commissioners opted to use Diligent which specializes in live-streaming public board meetings. The cost annually to the county for the service will be $10,850 which will include minutes, closed captioning, and IT services and $4,000 up front to cover the cost of the needed equipment. The planning commission and MSBU board will be able to use the service should they choose to live-stream their meetings. Live-streaming will be done through the county website with easy to follow instructions, once purchased, the streaming is expected to be up and running in 12-16 weeks.

In other items, the board approved $240,000 in ARPA funding to be used to digitize historical court records. Of that $240,000 in funding, $100,000 will come out of the Clerk of Courts budget.

Massey has been tasked with working with a county engineer to design a floating dock for use at Gap Pond which are the same as the docks recently approved for use at Culpepper Landing.

Commissioners recognized Chipley High School varsity boys basketball team for their second place finish in the Class 1A state championship game. 

“You played with your hearts and worked hard and because of that you have made all of Washington County proud,†Chairman Tray Hawkins said. “We are looking forward to all you boys will accomplish in your futures.â€

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in workshop on April 17 at 5 p.m.

Washington County Commissioners recognized the Chipley High School varsity boys basketball team during their March 14 meeting. [DIANE M. MOORE | THE NEWS AND ADVERTISER]