courthouse

Businessman accepts $850,000 offer for courthouse site

Businessman accepts $850,000 offer for courthouse site

Pensacola businessman Jerry Long didn’t waste time in accepting Santa Rosa’s $850,000 offer for his 19 acres on Avalon Boulevard as the prospective site of the new county courthouse. Long accepted the offer within days after the commission voted to make it last week, according to County Administrator Tony Gomillion. If the 75-day due diligence […]

New sales pitch needed for latest courthouse location

New sales pitch needed for latest courthouse location

When the proposed location for a new county courthouse was rejected by voters last year, it failed despite a core of support from downtown Milton and unanimity among the Santa Rosa commissioners who proposed it. The latest prospective site has neither. “I’m disappointed,” Milton City Council Member Alan Lowery told this newspaper Thursday after a […]

After 17 years, courthouse site selected

After 17 years, courthouse site selected

Santa Rosa County may finally have a courthouse location. Following a contentious discussion period, the Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 Thursday to make an offer on the site owned by JDL of Santa Rosa, LLC for the construction of a new courthouse and judicial center. The 13 to 19 acre site is located on […]

Sales-tax allies distance themselves from courthouse

Sales-tax allies distance themselves from courthouse

Sensing voter resistance to a new county courthouse in Milton, the business community group that supports an additional Santa Rosa sales-tax plans to promote only the Aug. 30 ballot measure about paying for other infrastructure. That’s because the volunteer Moving Santa Rosa Forward organization, which plans to use mailers and yard signs, fears that tying […]

City pays up to keep courthouse downtown

City pays up to keep courthouse downtown

Three of the five properties located where the City of Milton hopes the proposed new Santa Rosa County Courthouse will be built downtown are garnering far more than their appraised value. “We have been negotiating,” said City Manager Brian Watkins, who has been empowered by the city council to buy up land for a new […]

$47 Million is just too much

$47 Million is just too much

Let me start by saying I am in favor of building a new courthouse.  The current courthouse is obsolete and must be replaced.  But that doesn’t mean I support the plan to build a $47 million courthouse in Downtown Milton.  And no matter how many times Mr. Rob Williamson calls me a knucklehead on his […]

Commissioners debate Milton site for courthouse

Commissioners debate Milton site for courthouse

The site of Santa Rosa County’s long-discussed new courthouse was debated by commissioners again on Monday. After nearly two hours, commissioners inched toward selecting a location by next month. The debate was triggered by Commissioner Rob Williamson’s proposal to build the estimated $35 million facility off Pine Street in Milton, adjacent to CSX railroad tracks […]

The courthouse roller coaster ongoing

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 […]

Commission divided over courthouse

Commission divided over courthouse

While the majority of commissioners expressed support in January for a 2016 referendum regarding a smaller courthouse design in downtown Milton, the board remains undecided on what course to take following Tuesday’s judicial workshop. At a Jan. 28 workshop, Commissioner Bob Cole supported a March 2016 referendum, but made it clear Tuesday that he’s opposed to building […]

Courthouse presentation rescheduled

Courthouse presentation rescheduled

The Board of County Commissioners delayed an April 23 courthouse design presentation by HOK architectural firm. The board will instead host a special workshop to present the results of HOK’s lengthy 65-page report, which offers several design options for a new county judicial facility at the current site. Bradley Johnson, co-chairman of the City of […]

Commission will retry penny tax for courthouse in 2016

Commission will retry penny tax for courthouse in 2016

During the 2016 election cycle, Santa Rosa County Commissioners will ask voters once, twice if necessary, to reconsider supporting a temporary penny sales tax to fund construction of a new county courthouse. “The largest issue we face is the judicial facility,” County Administrator Hunter Walker said during the board’s Jan. 28 planning workshop which addressed […]

Forget the one-cent sales tax, we’ll build our own courthouse

Forget the one-cent sales tax, we’ll build our own courthouse

Since the one-cent sales tax to build a new courthouse failed a few weeks ago, we put our heads together in the newsroom and came up with a few creative ways to fund the replacement of the dilapidated building. The tried-and-true fundraisers immediately came to mind, including a bake sale and a carwash. Who doesn’t […]

Breaking down Navarre’s votes in the 2014 election

Breaking down Navarre’s votes in the 2014 election

If Navarre ran the state, election results would be … exactly the same. Navarre’s six precincts voted similarly to the rest of the county and matched almost every election result. Both Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi received more support from Navarre, more than 74 percent, than they averaged around the state. Scott […]

Boy Scouts practice public service at courthouse town hall meeting

Boy Scouts practice public service at courthouse town hall meeting

“Are kids going to be able to vote at the courthouse?” 10-year-old Austin Mathieu asked a panel of speakers Oct. 7 at a town hall meeting regarding the county’s proposed new courthouse. The question, which was followed by laughter from the other 30-some audience members in attendance, was the first asked after a presentation in Navarre regarding the need, details and proposals for the proposed facility. Read […]

County makes case for new courthouse

County makes case for new courthouse

PHOTO: Sgt. Rickie Cotton addresses a group of media representatives at an Oct. 6. tour of the Santa Rosa County Courthouse. Cotton supervises court security and led a guided tour of the outdated facility, pointing out safety concerns and other problems with the aging building. Expect to see a lot of news stories and editorials highlighting the […]

Citizens: County’s courthouse site comparisons “misleading”

Citizens: County’s courthouse site comparisons “misleading”

City of Milton Planning Manager Randy Jorgensen drove to Tiger Point to address Santa Rosa County Commissioners at a Sept. 30  town hall meeting. Jorgensen and others argue 322 existing parking spaces around the current courthouse should be included in site comparison data for the three properties under consideration for a proposed $50 million judicial facility. Milton attorney Matthew Hargraves says county information, showing there would […]

Board may buy ads for courthouse referendum

Board may buy ads for courthouse referendum

The county is considering ways to get the word out on issues related to the Nov. 4 courthouse referendum. One method being discussed is paid advertising. That’s upsetting some citizens who Monday warned commissioners to stick to fact-based information. “You can’t advocate to be in favor of the sales tax,” said Milton resident Jerry Couey, pointing out related restrictions in Florida State Statute 106.113. That statute makes it clear […]