The courthouse roller coaster ongoing

Most agree that Santa Rosa County needs a new courthouse. What can’t be agreed on is how big, how much, funding sources, or where to put it. The City of Milton wants it to stay in downtown Milton. Milton’s City Manager Brian Watkins made a presentation to the commissioner showing the “status of action” on the downtown properties previously identified as needed for a courthouse in the proximity of the existing courthouse. Out of eight parcels, two had been purchased by the City of Milton and four were in some form of negotiations and two properties had “no action.”

Santa Rosa County Commissioners Jayer Williamson and Lane Lynchard want the voters to decide in an up-or-down vote if downtown Milton is where the courthouse should be. “What I go back to was that there was a vote,” Williamson said. “The downtown site did get the most votes,” he said referencing the last vote in 2014 where the voters had to choose between three different parcels for a new courthouse and vote for a 1-cent sales tax. Lynchard affirmed to Jayer Williamson that he would like to see a vote of the people as well.

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