As the mayor of Destin, one of my duties is to help educate citizens on city initiatives and provide insight when needed on topics that can be difficult to understand. Our city is brimming with opportunity and projects that should make you very proud. I am delighted to share several of these with you.
Beach access (or the lack of) has been a hot topic for years. Without getting into the details of what is going on with customary use, I will make it plain and simple – there isn’t enough public beach for our residents and visitors. To that point, the City Council has asked that I begin looking into available beachfront property. That is, beachfront that the city could purchase and provide to the community. This initiative is in its infancy; however, I am pleased to say that there may be several options for the city council to consider in the future.
Continuing on the topic of public property, the city has some park projects currently under construction and a couple in the design phase. The construction of Captain Leonard Destin Park on Calhoun Ave. is underway and will provide the city with its first splash pad and dedicated kayak launch, as well as other park amenities. Norriego Point is “shaping up” with armored stone to protect Destin Harbor, an additional five acres of sand and new dunes and vegetation. Still to come on this project are public recreation facilities such as bathrooms, dune walkovers, a pathway and a shade pavilion. On the horizon is Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park on Destin Harbor and the renovation of Clement Taylor Park. Both of these parks are currently being designed. One interesting (and important) note is that all of these park projects are completely grant funded and won’t be billed to the tax paying citizens of our city.
Other notable items the city is working on is the connection of the Destin Harbor Boardwalk under the Marler Bridge to the Calhoun Ave. pathway, upgrades to Airport Road landscaping and road surface, stormwater initiatives, and hiring a new city manager.
I believe we should all be excited about the progress our small community is making. It is my absolute pleasure to serve as your mayor, and I am eager to continue to work for you!
Thank you, Gary Jarvis