Commissioner Dave Piech

Balancing budgets: How it works

Balancing budgets:  How it works

When looking at a budget, a $9 million shortfall sounds like fiscal irresponsibility—or like budget math at the federal government level. But when it comes to Santa Rosa County’s annual budget process, starting with $9 million more in requested funds than money to spend is nothing new. But by the time fiscal year 2020-2021 starts […]

Navarre’s first ER set to open in late 2020

Navarre’s first ER set to open in late 2020

In nine short months, Navarre’s first free-standing emergency room is set to accept its first patients. Representatives of HCA Healthcare’s Fort Walton Beach Medical Center held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for the Navarre ER to be located just north of the intersection of U.S. Highway 98 and the Navarre Beach bridge. Read the full article […]

East Bay Boulevard plan features roundabouts, crosswalks, parking

East Bay Boulevard plan features roundabouts, crosswalks, parking

Changing the speed limit on East Bay Boulevard won’t slow down speeders, but roundabouts might. That was the assessment presented to residents and stakeholders Monday night at Live Oak Church as part of the final public workshop for the East Bay Boulevard Corridor Management Plan. Directed by the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) and funded […]

TDC setting rules for project funding

TDC setting rules for project funding

After years of funding a variety of tourism amenities as they came up, the Tourist Development Council (TDC) made a move Feb. 6 toward limiting those big ticket spends to the budget cycle and creating a matrix to better measure their potential. Up to this point, infrastructure and amenity projects requesting funding through the TDC […]

Pro-life sanctuary resolution moves forward

Pro-life sanctuary resolution moves forward

County Commission Chairman Don Salter was called a coward more than a few times Monday as citizens spoke out against blocking a pro-life resolution from the board’s meeting agenda. The Sanctuary for Life resolution was submitted for placement on the agenda by Commissioner Bob Cole, but as chairman, Salter makes the final decision on such […]

Splash RV Resort, Firestone store approved

Splash RV Resort, Firestone store approved

Plans to build a Firestone tire store in Navarre and an RV resort with a waterpark on Highway 87 both got the green light Jan. 23 from county commissioners during their monthly Special Rezoning meeting. The planned Firestone location is part of a larger 19-acre Aldi grocery store and commercial complex planned near the corner […]

Soccer fields get much-needed facelift without hefty price tag

Soccer fields get much-needed facelift without hefty price tag

In dire need of work, the price tag just seemed too high when it came to making repairs to the five fields at the NYSA Navarre Soccer Complex. Enter an offer Santa Rosa County District 4 Commissioner Dave Piech couldn’t pass up. Doyle Donegan with the Santa Rosa County Parks and Recreation Department informed Piech […]

Redecking expected to conclude prior to busy summer season

Redecking expected to conclude prior to busy summer season

After months of prep work, workers began placing new deck boards Jan. 15 on the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico. Now the contractor, RJ Gorman Marine Construction LLC of Panama City, has 90 days to complete the work on site under the terms of a $1.12 million contract with Santa Rosa County to […]

Recycling set to restart Jan. 1

Recycling set to restart Jan. 1

The return of recycling in Santa Rosa County finally has an official date on the books. County Commissioners moved forward this week with approving a final agreement with a third-party hauler to get gathered recyclables from the Central Landfill to Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s (ECUA) processing plant. While recyclables have continuously been picked up, they […]

A HOPE clinic approved; gas station denied

A HOPE clinic approved; gas station denied

Volunteers of animal advocacy group A HOPE celebrated a victory Dec. 12 after county commissioners gave them the thumbs-up to open a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. The nonprofit was seeking a conditional use to allow it to build a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Milton on a 25-acre parcel off Pine Blossom Road.

Sure, build on potential toxic waste

Sure, build on potential toxic waste

The Santa Rosa County Commissioners had an opportunity to make a small step toward amending a sin of the past during their meeting last Thursday. They chose not to. They approved building of 16 homes over potentially contaminated water and soil in Gulf Breeze. Water Leaf subdivision is at just the beginning stages of the […]

County OKs housing next to abandoned dump

County OKs housing next to abandoned dump

A month after Abbey Rodamaker told county commissioners about the dump and water contamination she discovered waiting under her soil, the commission last week approved a residential development that could be facing the same problems. The Nov. 14 approval, despite multiple concerns voiced by neighbors, allows a 16-lot subdivision, dubbed Water Leaf, to continue forward […]

5 things to know: Mobi mats returning to Navarre Beach

5 things to know: Mobi mats returning to Navarre Beach

The peak of tourism season is over, and members of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) are continuing to seek improvements to infrastructure along Navarre Beach ahead of next season. District 4 County Commissioner Dave Piech, who is also a member of the TDC, gave a quick update Nov. 7 on the state of projects along […]

Navarre celebrates service, sacrifice

Navarre celebrates service, sacrifice

Residents decked in red, white and blue packed Navarre Park’ center pavilion and spilled out across the lawn toward the Black Hawk Memorial Monday for the annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Each year the ceremony is presented by local veteran’s organizations including Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4407 American Legion posts.   Read the full article […]

Veterans Day events scheduled for Santa Rosa

Veterans Day events scheduled for Santa Rosa

Two Veterans Day events in Santa Rosa County will be attended by members of the Board of County Commissioners Nov. 11 according to a press release. In Navarre Park, the festivities are set to start at 11 a.m. presented by local veteran’s organizations including Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4407 American Legion posts. Other participating organizations include Navarre High School […]

Customers wait months for new WastePro cans

Customers wait months for new WastePro cans

According to a WastePro representative, customers in south Santa Rosa County are still waiting for 400 new and replacement cans as of Oct. 29. Residents of Navarre have reported delays in replacement and new cans lasting months. According to Holley by the Sea resident Mandie Carpenter, it took four and half months to receive the […]

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 […]

Tourism council backs dog park on sound, not Gulf

Tourism council backs dog park on sound, not Gulf

County commissioners tossed the ball of creating a dog beach to the Tourist Development Council for its input Oct. 3, but conflicting public opinions have made the topic a hot potato. Current law prohibits dogs on all public beaches. Creation of a beach area allowing dogs was originally proposed in August to be located along the […]

Four things to know: Commercial developments in Navarre

Four things to know: Commercial developments in Navarre

Dozens of commercial projects are moving forward in Santa Rosa County, while others are spinning their wheels. Here’s an update on some of the developments planned for Navarre.   Helen Back awaiting buyer At last update, the defunct Helen Back Again property at 8651 Navarre Parkway had an interested buyer under contract, ready to close […]

Navarre Park revamp delayed by missing permits

Navarre Park revamp delayed by missing permits

The multimillion-dollar renovation of Navarre Park could be delayed by more than six months thanks to missing wetlands permits from state and federal officials. District 4 County Commissioner Dave Piech, who represents the Navarre area, said the permits were never applied for.   Read the full article in the Oct. 10 issue of Navarre Press. […]

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 […]

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. […]

Leaseholders weigh in on incorporation

Leaseholders weigh in on incorporation

When Navarre Beach residents gathered Saturday to hear from Navarre Area United Political Action Committee head Jonathan Cole on his group’s effort to make Navarre a city, many of their questions had the same answer: It will be in the feasibility study. The PAC has placed a lot of faith on the contents of this […]

Dog beach on hold; voluntary license program passes

Dog beach on hold; voluntary license program passes

Santa Rosa County commissioners approved a revamp of the county’s animal control ordinances Sept. 12 during a public hearing in Milton, but those changes did not include the creation of an area for leashed dogs on Navarre Beach. The dog beach area was originally proposed in August to be located along the Santa Rosa Sound […]

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. […]

Time is money, and Santa Rosa’s wasting it

Time is money, and Santa Rosa’s wasting it

Time is money. The phrase popularized in 1748 by Benjamin Franklin rings all too true more than 270 years later. For the entrepreneur of Santa Rosa County, opening a business here continues to cost time and money. And lots of it. We hear horror stories of site plans that went missing, of costly changes to […]

Small businesses struggle to launch in Santa Rosa

Small businesses struggle to launch in Santa Rosa

Booming construction throughout the region has translated to even more strain on Santa Rosa County’s building department. And for small businesses trying to capture a piece of the economic gold rush that means even more hurdles.   Read the full article in the Sept. 5 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options […]

Three options offered for Navarre Community Access Road

Three options offered for Navarre Community Access Road

Do not call it an alternative U.S. Highway 98. The Navarre Community Access Road was never meant to be a relief valve for Navarre’s crowded main corridor, according to county officials. Instead, Santa Rosa County spent the past 20 months studying how to improve roadways already impacted by diverted traffic.   Read the full article […]