Government

Meet the new Zoning Board

Meet the new Zoning Board

With exactly a week to go before their first meeting and just hours after their official hiring, the members of the newly seated Zoning Board got a crash course in public service Nov. 14 at the Tiger Point Community Center. The Zoning Board is one of many county committees composed of citizen appointees, helping in […]

Decades later, dirt moving on new courthouse

Decades later, dirt moving on new courthouse

When Don Salter was first elected to the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners in 2000, the issue at the forefront was replacing the aging courthouse in downtown Milton. A little less than 20 years later, Salter and his fellow commissioners ceremonially broke ground Nov. 13 on the site of a new courthouse, turning dirt […]

Clerk returns unspent $867,000 to Santa Rosa County

Clerk returns unspent $867,000 to Santa Rosa County

For fiscal year 2018-19, the Santa Rosa County Clerk of Court and Comptroller Donald C. Spencer returned unspent revenues of $867,269 to the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners. This makes the seventh consecutive year since taking office, Spencer has returned unspent revenues to the county commission totaling $3,030,425 over that time. “Through fiscal […]

Property appraiser launches new website

Property appraiser launches new website

The Santa Rosa County property appraiser’s website has a new look, new features and a lower price tag thanks to a revamp launched Oct. 1. But county Property Appraiser Greg Brown said the initial reception has not been entirely warm. Change is hard, Brown said, and the website, especially its property record features, are widely […]

Sales tax fallout: Zoning board and commissioners respond

Sales tax fallout: Zoning board and commissioners respond

In all but one precinct of voting, a proposed one cent local option sales tax for Santa Rosa County failed to pass Oct. 8. For the County Commissioners who had championed the tax to tackle deteriorated infrastructure and mounting sheriff’s office requests, the result was a wake-up call. After dozens of public hearings in which citizens […]

Land in beach marine park secured by county

Land in beach marine park secured by county

Fears that commercial developments would one day be built in the heart of the Navarre Beach Marine Park are coming to an end Thursday as county commissioners officially accept donation of $2 million worth of waterfront property. The nonprofit Trust for Public Land has been working on and off for years to secure purchase of […]

Florida toughens ban on texting while driving

Florida toughens ban on texting while driving

As of Tuesday, Oct. 1, motorists in Florida can be stopped for using a hands-free communications device while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone or active work zone area. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), through its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), sent out an advisory reminding […]

County cracks down on M&M Construction violations

County cracks down on M&M Construction violations

Much of the operations at Juarez M&M Construction in Navarre will have to shut down after county commissioners voted not to change land requirements for property along Constitution Drive Sept. 26 during their Special Rezoning meeting. Neighbor Ron Millis said it is about time something gets done.   Read the full article in the Oct. […]

$178 million county budget headed for approval

$178 million county budget headed for approval

Santa Rosa County is set to approve its largest budget in more than 15 years, but County Commissioners say that’s not the whole story. The board unanimously approved Sept. 12 a roughly $178 million tentative budget for fiscal year 2020. The final public hearing and budget adoption is set for Sept. 24.   Read the full […]

Board gets preview of new courthouse interior

Board gets preview of new courthouse interior

Layout of the interior of a new $45 million county courthouse was revealed to Santa Rosa County commissioners last week as the project inches forward. Jay Smith of Ajax Building, one of a handful of companies tasked with designing the new facility, told commissioners Sept. 9 that the project is proceeding on schedule.   Read […]

Improvements recommended for building process

Improvements recommended for building process

Amid continued complaints from small-business owners, County Commissioner Bob Cole called for some accounting in the planning and building departments Monday during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting. Cole pointed to reports of lengthy delays, continued confusion and changing expectations from projects seeking to get off the ground.   Read the full article in the Sept. […]

One cent local option sales tax election

One cent local option sales tax election

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are pushing hard for an additional half cent sales tax to be added to purchases within Santa Rosa County, but that will be up to the voters to decide Oct. 8. Sample ballots have been mailed and registration books closed for a countywide special election on the issue.   Read the […]

Five things to know: Countdown to legislative session 2020

Five things to know: Countdown to legislative session 2020

As of this issue’s publication date, there are 131 days until the start of Florida’s 2020 legislative session, but preparations are already in full swing. Governments, legislators, lobbyists and organizations throughout the state have been setting their priorities, talking strategy and drafting their bills to prepare for roughly 60 days of the meat and potatoes […]

South end critiques Land Development Code

South end critiques Land Development Code

A comprehensive rewrite of the Santa Rosa County Land Development Code gained weigh in from residents of south Santa Rosa Aug. 15 during a public open house at Tiger Point Community Center. County staff lined up at information tables as roughly 24 citizens made their rounds to ask questions and formally propose changes to one […]

County advances Navarre dog beach plan

County advances Navarre dog beach plan

County commissioners moved forward Monday with a proposal to allow dogs on a portion of Navarre Beach’s Santa Rosa Sound coastline. Under the proposed ordinance, owners would pay an annual fee of $30 to allow their dogs on a stretch of the beach near the water tower on White Sands Boulevard between 4 p.m. and […]

RVs and pit pass, vet clinic fails

RVs and pit pass, vet clinic fails

It was standing room only again July 25 as the Board of County Commissioners took up contentious development proposals previously vetted by the Zoning Board. Among the issues on the docket for the commission’s Special Rezoning meeting were proposals to bring a low-cost spay and neuter clinic to northern Milton, allow a dirt borrow pit […]

Parker appointed to Florida Association of Counties board

Parker appointed to Florida Association of Counties board

Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Sam Parker, District 1, was recently appointed to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) board of directors. Commissioner Parker will serve in this role for two years. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the FAC board of directors,” Parker said. “This will allow me to work […]

If it passes… Transportation tops the list for sales tax

If it passes… Transportation tops the list for sales tax

Santa Rosa County has proposed replacing the current half-cent local sales tax, set to expire in 2021, with a one-cent sales tax for 10 years. Voters will have a chance to approve or deny the tax on a special ballot Oct. 8.   Read the full article in the July 25 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Beach advocates stricter codes to prevent another “Turner House”

Beach advocates stricter codes to prevent another “Turner House”

Fed up with years of dilapidation across the street, beach residents called on county commissioners Monday during their meeting to amend the Land Development Code (LDC) to prevent future homes from sitting in disrepair for 15 years. Sailmaker Cove president Terry Pierman said the gulf front “Turner House” located at 7315 Gulf Boulevard is an […]

Public comment invited on Land Development Code

Public comment invited on Land Development Code

Santa Rosa County will be seeking public input on a revamp of the Land Development Code (LDC) during two public workshops next month. The LDC contains regulations that govern how land is developed in the unincorporated areas of the county and addresses everything from zoning, site development, the natural environment and stormwater management to parking, […]

Three things to know: Santa Rosa County Zoning Board

Three things to know: Santa Rosa County Zoning Board

A standing-room-only crowd led to a long evening meeting July 11 for the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board. Board denies A HOPE’s new home A HOPE for Santa Rosa County faced opposition from neighbors during the meeting as the pet rescue organization sought to create a permanent home for its low-cost spay and neuter operation. […]

Divvying up the LOST: Improved animal services a top priority

Divvying up the LOST: Improved animal services a top priority

While Santa Rosa County commissioners pursue a one-cent sales tax for an Oct. 8 ballot referendum, determinations still must be made for spending of the county’s existing half-cent sales tax for fiscal year 2020. The local option sales tax (LOST) that took effect in 2017 has paid for millions of dollars in completed projects across […]

Holiday visitors greeted by restroom mess

Holiday visitors greeted by restroom mess

Fourth of July visitors to Navarre Beach had an unpleasant surprise in the women’s public restrooms. The only ADA accessible stall of the bathroom was temporarily closed after a pile of human feces was found on the floor that afternoon. When the county was informed of the issue, it was stated that the problem would […]

Lease finally on the table for effluent disposal at Eglin

Lease finally on the table for effluent disposal at Eglin

Santa Rosa County’s elusive deal for moving treated effluent out of Santa Rosa Sound and onto Eglin Air Force Base property took a huge step forward Monday. County Engineer Roger Blaylock presented the Board of County Commissioners with Eglin’s proposed lease agreement for roughly 200 acres to build a Rapid Infiltration Basin System for treatment […]

Governor slashes funding for local projects

Governor slashes funding for local projects

What initially appeared to be a successful state budget session for Santa Rosa County has taken a disappointing turn, delaying multiple projects. Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 21 released his final list of vetoed items from this year’s $9.1 billion state budget, and all but one of Santa Rosa’s allocations were on the chopping block. […]

If it passes… County sets goals for potential $165 million sales tax revenue

If it passes…  County sets goals for potential $165 million sales tax revenue

Santa Rosa County commissioners have already divvied up most of the $165 million of sales tax revenue expected to come in between 2020 and 2030. But that hinges on voters allowing the tax.   Read the full article in the July 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or click […]

Navarre Beach dog park gains county support

Navarre Beach dog park gains county support

The long-sought after Navarre dog beach concept may be on the horizon after Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. County staff have put forward a draft ordinance change to allow, among other things, a section of Navarre Beach sound side to go to the dogs, at least between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 […]

Commissioners weigh options for $9 million shortfall

Commissioners weigh options for $9 million shortfall

Santa Rosa County’s planned expenditures for 2020 are about $9.08 million above the $91.7 million budget reality, according to data presented to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) June 11. That shortfall will be the topic of debate over the next several months as the county grapples to reach a balanced budget.   Read the […]

County gets to down to business with StRIVE

County gets to down to business with StRIVE

Businesses across Santa Rosa County are set to get a facelift thanks to the first round of StRIVE grants set for approval this week. The StRIVE (Santa Rosa Improvement Vitalization Enterprise) program was proposed by Chairman Sam Parker in January.     Read the full article in the June 27 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

County cuts ribbon on new Gulf side pavilion complex

County cuts ribbon on new Gulf side pavilion complex

County and state officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on new ADA-friendly pavilions, restroom facilities with showers, parking spaces and other much-anticipated enhancements in Navarre Beach Marine Park. The ribbon cutting marked the end of a multimillion-dollar project with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to bring updated amenities to the marine park. Read the full […]

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