Santa Rosa County issued the following in response to citizens’ concerns about the Navarre Library plants that were uprooted and trashed over the weekend:
“In an effort to improve the appearance of the building and functionality of the night drop box and air condition units of the Navarre Library, county staff hired a private contractor to remove specific shrubs and trees around the Navarre Library building. Because of the equipment needed for the project, the contractor was instructed to complete the work during hours the library was closed so as not to disturb library patrons. A plan was given to the contractor, Jack Gibson, with instructions to leave the Navarre Garden Club’s plant bed untouched and to remove shrubs that were blocking visibility of their bed, along with several other shrubs and trees found around the building. We now realize that communication on several levels failed as many more plants were removed than planned by library and facility management staff. The cuttings were also improperly disposed of behind the library.
The county would like to express our sincere apologies to the Navarre Garden Club and the Friends of the Navarre Library. We greatly appreciate all their efforts to improve library services and facilities for the residents in our county and we feel their frustration and dismay of what was found Saturday morning. County staff will work with the contractor to ensure the plants that were removed are disposed of properly. Working together with the Friends of the Navarre Library and Navarre Garden Club, Santa Rosa County will restore and replant the area.
In the future, county staff will work to strengthen communications between our own staff, contractors and specifically our volunteer organizations to help make certain similar mistakes do not happen again. Additionally, county staff will be on hand to supervise any future work by outside contractors or county staff being done at the facility to ensure plans are completely understood and carried out as intended.”
For more on this story, see the June 23 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.