Commissioner Sam Parker

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Board OKs rezoning linked to conservation pledge

Board OKs rezoning linked to conservation pledge

County commissioners voted on faith Aug. 22 as they approved the rezoning of more than 400 acres of vacant land near Naval Air Station Whiting Field on the promise the property would be donated as conservation easements. That promise comes from property owner and developer Edwin Henry, owner of Henry Company Homes.     Read […]

Parker recognized as FAC Presidential Advocate

Parker recognized as FAC Presidential Advocate

The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) recognized Santa Rosa County Commissioner Sam Parker, District 1, as a presidential advocate for his work during the 2019 legislative session. Commissioner Parker received the designation during an awards ceremony held at the FAC Annual Conference in Orange County.   Read the full article in the June 20 issue […]

Commissioners reject purchase of landfill over water supply

Commissioners reject purchase of landfill over water supply

The land above the aquifer that provides water to all of south Santa Rosa County could become the home of a construction debris landfill after the County Commission indicated Monday it would reject the owners’ offer to sell the property for $12 million. Blue Water Holdings SRC Inc. owns the property itself. Read the full […]

BREAKING: Sales tax increase has Commission support

BREAKING: Sales tax increase has Commission support

Voters may go to the polls on a request for another half cent sales tax as early as August as County Commissioners unanimously supported the idea Thursday during a Budget Workshop. Commission Chairman Sam Parker brought forward the suggestion of a special ballot initiative for the new tax. “I have really searched about how we […]

Piech sworn in as District 4 commissioner

Piech sworn in as District 4 commissioner

District 4’s new County Commissioner Dave Piech took the oath of office Nov. 20, officially beginning his four-year term on the heels of a contentious election. Judge Robert Hilliard did the swearing-in at the county administrative boardroom in Milton during the Board of County Commissioners’ annual reorganization meeting. Read the full article in the Nov. […]

County looks at stronger tree protections

County looks at stronger tree protections

Following the issue of a development order, many parcels in Navarre and Santa Rosa County are leveled to the dirt for impending development. That includes trees that may have been growing there for decades, possibly 100 years or more. Read the full article in the Nov. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for […]

Miracle League’s all-inclusive baseball field on pace for spring opening

Miracle League’s all-inclusive baseball field on pace for spring opening

Rain moved out and the sun pushed through the clouds Thursday morning at Tiger Point Park ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony for the first Miracle League all-inclusive sports field in Santa Rosa County. What should have taken between five and six years is going to be a reality in a span of 22 months. Read […]

Butterfly House future still up in the air

Butterfly House future still up in the air

A decision has been put off once again on the location of a new Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) vivarium and learning center. During the Board of County Commissioners meeting Monday morning, the board opted to postpone a final determination until the PBH could provide a more comprehensive business plan. Read the full article in the […]

TDC fed up with two of everything

TDC fed up with two of everything

Two plunges is too many. That was the position taken by Tourist Development Council (TDC) member Liz Horton, a bed tax collector from the south end. She said she is tired of two of everything in Navarre from chamber of commerce breakfasts to events like New Year’s Day plunges. Read the full article in the […]

County rejects hotel; eyes District 4 Master Plan

County rejects hotel; eyes District 4 Master Plan

County commissioners squashed a plan to build a hotel and RV site inside the Navarre Beach Marine Park, unanimously voting against a lease amendment for the property during a special rezoning meeting Oct 25. Attorney Will Dunaway, of the Clark Partington law firm, represented the potential buyer and developer, NOBC LLC. That company is registered […]

Details revealed about potential Panhandle Butterfly House move

Details revealed about potential Panhandle Butterfly House move

As progress moves forward on the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge’s (ECWR) new location in Holley, the nonprofit awaits a decision by the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) about where their future location will be. The future of the PBH is currently in limbo as their building is set for demolition at the start of 2019. Read […]

County moves quickly on Ashley Plantation solutions

County moves quickly on Ashley Plantation solutions

For residents of Ashley Plantation subdivision in Pace, drainage fixes could not come soon enough as water flooded their roads, at times up to their house doors, and some backyards became rushing streams. A handful of neighbors came before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Sept.  27 requesting help in fixing the mess a builder allegedly […]

Tourist Development Council critical of north, south inequity

Tourist Development Council critical of north, south inequity

In the past 10 years, three times as many tourist development dollars were spent in Milton than in Navarre for infrastructure improvements. In contrast, the beach alone accounts for more than half of the dollars generated.               Read the full article in the Oct. 11 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Navarre Park’s Trojan butterfly won’t fly

Navarre Park’s Trojan butterfly won’t fly

We want to preface this with a simple statement of goal. We want the Panhandle Butterfly House to succeed. They are an asset to our community. But, in May we said: this is a bad idea. Dropping a small nonprofit program that has no stable revenue stream or even its own book keeper into a […]

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

Although county commissioners have said for years that cleaning up Santa Rosa Sound is a top priority, the water utility they control will apparently keep putting treated sewage effluent into the bay indefinitely. The county-owned Navarre Beach Water System has applied for and received tentative approval for a five-year renewal of its state permit to […]

Santa Rosa Medical breaks ground on Navarre project

Santa Rosa Medical breaks ground on Navarre project

Where once signs for a car wash stood, Navarre now has signage promising a new medical facility for 2019. Representatives of Santa Rosa Medical Group symbolically broke ground with golden shovels alongside Santa Rosa county commissioners Sept. 21 on a new medical center at the west corner of Navarre Parkway and Harvest Village Court. Read […]

Tourist development project list takes shape

Tourist development project list takes shape

A revisit of the strategic plan resulted in a checklist of projects for the Tourist Development Council (TDC) Sept. 6 as the council weighed where their best investments would be to increase quality of place. Under the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for the Santa Rosa County TDC, the group charged with oversight of bed taxes collected […]

Revitalized chamber redirects its focus

Revitalized chamber redirects its focus

On August 7, 2017, Tamara Fountain stepped into the role of CEO and president for the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. In the 12 months that followed, Fountain assessed and scrutinized everything the chamber did. From events to programming to the very mission statement, she worked alongside the board of directors, chairman, membership director […]

Santa Rosa selected for national coastal resiliency program

Santa Rosa selected for national coastal resiliency program

Santa Rosa County has been selected by the National Association of Counties (NACo) as one of only four counties in the country to participate in the Coastal Counties Resilience Team Challenge. This three-year program is designed to provide training, offer assistance and promote collaboration to strengthen the ability of counties to handle extreme weather events […]

Commissioners hold firm on zonings

Commissioners hold firm on zonings

We support what you are doing, but not where you want to do it. That was the message county commissioners delivered to a business owner seeking to open her real estate office in Navarre. Rocio Cuevas went before the Board of County Commissioners Aug. 23 to request that a single-family residence at 7654 East Bay […]

County approves increase in building permit fees

County approves increase in building permit fees

In exchange for faster service and better staffing, developers will be paying more for permits in Santa Rosa County. But the increase still leaves the county well below its neighbors in terms of cost to build. As growth across Santa Rosa continues to explode, the Board of County Commissioners voted Aug. 23 to approve increases […]

Williamson criticized for ‘liking’ vulgar Facebook posts

Williamson criticized for ‘liking’ vulgar Facebook posts

County Commissioner Rob Williamson faced heat from constituents Monday for ‘liking’ vulgar comments made about Navarre residents on the social media platform Facebook. Navarre resident Yvonne Harper, past president of the Holley by the Sea Homeowners Association, told the Board of County Commissioners that she wanted to bring some comments to light during the public forum […]

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) handled several requests for park funding NYSA playground to get fresh rubber In Navarre, that meant funding to replace the problematic rubber surface for the playground at the NYSA. District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson questioned why the surface needed to be replaced so shortly after it was installed. […]

Commissioners rein in developers’ housing plans

Commissioners rein in developers’ housing plans

In yet another unusually high turnout, the Board of County Commissioners meeting hall was packed July 26 with residents of Santa Rosa County seeking to have their voices heard at the monthly Special Rezoning meeting. Many were there in favor of allowing a motocross facility to be opened in the north end of the county. […]

Navarre, Pace show business growth parallels

Navarre, Pace show business growth parallels

According to business license data in Santa Rosa County, Navarre is the second fastest growing area in the county when it comes to new business. More than 2,000 businesses received new licenses tied to Santa Rosa addresses between 2017 and June 2018. Read the full article in the July 26 issue of Navarre Press. Click here […]

Santa Rosa to gamble $2 million on industrial park building

Santa Rosa to gamble $2 million on industrial park building

When Garner Economics LLC presented a five-year blueprint for Santa Rosa County’s economic development, owner Jay Garner coined a simple phrase: “No product, no project.” County Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree heeded that advice. Read the full article in the July 26 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for as little as $38 per […]

Crime down, sheriff’s budget up

Crime down, sheriff’s budget up

In the past six months, crime in Santa Rosa County has dropped 23 percent according to Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Rich Aloy. Accompanying the dropping crime rate has been an increase in clearing of cases by the department, meaning the cases were resolved. Read the full article in the July 5 […]