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In a special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners officially sealed the deal on taking an extra line of credit.

Commissioners approved a resolution and loan documents for the credit line and had already agreed to the extra $6 million amount during a regular meeting Nov. 16. The addition brings the overall credit line to $12 million.

“The resolution is what authorizes the issuance of the bonds because it’s a county financing thing,” County Attorney Matt Fuqua said. 

The credit line from First Federal Bank of Florida is being extended for the county since the county used its original line. 

Reimbursements for emergency management contract work are pending due to requests for information from the state. The RFIs are based on asphalt placement and a question about ditches being created.

“The issue with the variation from two-and-a-half to one-and-a-half inches (on the asphalt)-(the Florida Division of Emergency Management) has received some information from the county. Our Region 4 FEMA guys have taken that information on up to the federal office with FEMA. Awaiting approval on that,” Commission Chairman David Pettis said to fellow Commissioner Alan T. Bush, who asked Pettis to inquire about the delay.

“The other issue of the ditches, DEM is still waiting for some information from the county to proceed with that,” Pettis continued. 

The previous line of credit has only been used for FEMA payments, which the new line of credit will also go towards. 

“It is going to be very close and, so, I feel like we will probably have a little bit of cushion there but it won’t be much,” County Clerk Lora Bell said. “I can’t be exact because we’ve not gotten everything in yet that we know what we’ve been told that is outstanding. We’re just basing this on the information we’ve been given.”

County Administrator Jeff Massey said he checked in with Wheeler Emergency Management Consulting–one of the county’s emergency contractors–to see if there was any further movement with what’s being worked out with the state and FEMA.

“We don’t have anything new and, honestly, being a holiday week, I didn’t expect it,” Massey said. “I do know this–there have been some advances from the state for projects that were approved. They are moving some funds.”

The anticipated funds are “promising,” Bell said.

“We’ve not seen that in two months,” Bell said.

Wheeler has been said by residents and commissioners to be the subject of an FBI investigation, the details of which are currently publicly unknown.