About the CRA
The DeFuniak Springs Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a public entity created by the City Council of the City of DeFuniak Springs (the Council). On February 26th, 2018, Resolution 2018-07 passed by the Council made the determination that there was a need to initiate revitalization of blighted areas inside the city limits of DeFuniak Springs, FL. On August 13, 2018, Resolution 2018-17 of the City Council for DeFuniak Springs officially formed the DeFuniak Springs Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), placing the City Council members as the CRA board of directors in accordance with Florida Statutes Chapter 163, Part III. The passing of Resolution 2018-18 outlined the rights, powers, duties, privileges and immunities given to the City Council acting as the CRA board of directors. The DeFuniak Springs CRA is a public agency adhering to all standards, scrutiny and accountability belying all public agencies in the city of DeFuniak Springs, county of Walton, and state of Florida. The CRA is set as a unit of the city government of DeFuniak Springs and operates to direct areas of redevelopment inside the Community Redevelopment Area of DeFuniak Springs. DeFuniak Springs redevelopment actions are guided by the CRA board, the CRA administration and the community focused on revitalizing the city of DeFuniak Springs. The CRA is subsidized through a tax incremental financing fund (TIF). At inception, a base value was established of the CRA area’s taxable property value. Each year, as the taxable value increases due to capital improvements and redevelopment efforts, the difference, or increment, in the base year and the current year is deposited into the CRA Fund. The CRA fund is used to implement the goals of the CRA Plan set forth by and for the community of DeFuniak Springs, FL.
Throughout the history of DeFuniak Springs, the area designated as the business district inside the CRA district has served as the core for business activity and community gatherings. As with most small communities, DeFuniak Springs business district has struggled through the recent past to compete in an increasingly global economy. Industrial, retail and professional services have left the city core for perceived better spaces. A large income disparity gap, over dependence on tourism and lack of infrastructure have aided in the lagging economy of DeFuniak Springs, but in our recent past, DeFuniak Springs has seen many positive changes and improvements in the advancement of new business recruitment. The CRA district will strive to be a hub for a mixed-use, pedestrian friendly area offering a balance of hometown feel, world-class attractions, amazing dining and retail, exciting entertainment opportunities and beautiful professional offices.
The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of DeFuniak Springs vision is to improve the quality of life for all residents of DeFuniak Springs by building a community where all members have ample opportunities for quality employment, housing, services and a balanced cultural experience. Through a balance, innovative persistent approach, the CRA will build a center for commerce, civic activities and entertainment and represent the local identity of DeFuniak Springs and Walton County Florida.
The mission of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of DeFuniak Springs is to protect and improve the commercial areas of DeFuniak Springs through thoughtful, controlled economic growth and build upon and preserve the residential neighborhoods through activities building higher quality of life for all. The CRA economic revitalization process will forge an environment that attracts investors, encourages improvements in building structure and aesthetics and attracts new construction and business. The CRA will focus on obtaining necessary funding for public infrastructure improvements, streetscape build-out and marketing of the commercial district to attract new businesses to the district.