Dan Schebler

County, citizens explore funding options in workshop

County, citizens explore funding options in workshop

County Administrator Dan Schebler fielded tough questions about spending of tax dollars Monday during the first of two citizen budget workshops. The first was hosted at Woodbine Church. Read the full article in the April 18 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – or sign up to receive a digital subscription […]

Determining new fate of old courthouse

Determining new fate of old courthouse

For the first time in 92 years, the Santa Rosa County Courthouse in downtown Milton will likely be vacant. After more than 20 years of argument and failed ballot measures, the county has concrete plans to move judicial services to a new location along Avalon Boulevard. Read the full article in the April 11 issue […]

LOST: Are we getting what we paid for?

LOST: Are we getting what we paid for?

County commissioners plan to ask voters to raise the local option sales tax (LOST) in an August special election. This would extend and expand an existing half-cent LOST approved by voters in 2016. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up […]

Grassroots movement calls for impact fee revival

Grassroots movement calls for impact fee revival

As growth continues to strain infrastructure across Santa Rosa County, residents of Pace are echoing cries by south county residents to make developers shoulder more of the burden. More than 50 residents along Woodbine Road in Pace gathered Feb. 21 for the first meeting of Santa Rosa Voters Against Overcrowded Roads and Schools (Voters Against). […]

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Despite budget votes being more than 7 months away, Santa Rosa county commissioners are already wrangling with two major funding decisions in the wake of Thursday’s early Budget Workshop. One major point of concern is how to fund the $45 million price tag on a new courthouse and judicial complex. Read the full article in […]

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Roughly 100 acres of discrepancy was more than neighbors and county commissioners could swallow, at least not without a closer look. So, development of the 284-lot subdivision Forest Bay Estates has been put on hold, at least temporarily. Read the full article in the Feb. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

District 4 plan draws mixed reviews

District 4  plan draws mixed reviews

Outright adoption or even acceptance of the District 4 Master Plan was more than the Santa Rosa County commissioners could swallow Jan. 24. Of the five commissioners, three failed to throw support behind the document that took 19 months, hundreds of public comments, multiple public hearings and $150,000 of taxpayer funds to create. Read the […]

Williamson’s hands are tied at the water utility

Williamson’s hands are tied at the water utility

The list of duties that are legally off-limits to the newly minted $100,000-a-year Chief Executive Officer at Holley Navarre Water System keeps growing. Already being held at arm’s length by Santa Rosa County officials, ousted District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson also won’t likely be allowed to handle applications for federal and state grants or loans […]

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

Wary of violating a Florida statute about consorting with former colleagues, Santa Rosa officials are carefully avoiding work-related contact with Rob Williamson, the new CEO of Holley Navarre Water System. Keeping Williamson at arm’s length has already required dodging an overture last week to tour Holley Navarre Water’s facilities on Turkey Bluff Road along with […]

Phase I price tag $3 million

Phase I price tag $3 million

Based on Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) is no longer part of Navarre Park’s Phase I makeover, but it is not being relocated to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge either. That issue aside, County Administrator Dan Schebler told the commissioners that they need an answer to move forward on […]

Panhandle Butterfly House seeks third option

Panhandle Butterfly House seeks third option

In the ongoing saga of the Panhandle Butterfly House’s (PBH) future, a decision could finally come next Thursday at the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners meeting. But that answer may not be what the PBH leadership wants to hear. Read the full article in the Dec. 6 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

County admin recommends butterfly house at wildlife refuge

County admin recommends butterfly house at wildlife refuge

In one of his last acts as District 4 County Commissioner, Rob Williamson said he has lost confidence in the fiscal viability of the Panhandle Butterfly House. “Where I once had a confidence that they would be able to run a yearlong, sustainable operation and take on the expenses that they have never before paid […]

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 […]

Taxing power for sheriff is coming

Taxing power for sheriff is coming

Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson has long had the Midas touch when asking county commissioners to boost his budget, but soon they intend to have him send much of his ever-increasing annual bill straight to taxpayers. “The idea is for the sheriff to become a taxing authority all his own, similar to the school district,” […]

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 […]

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 […]

Panhandle Butterfly House future in limbo

Panhandle Butterfly House future in limbo

When the doors closed on the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) this season, they also closed on the group’s 21 years at its location in Navarre Park. The shop, vivarium and gardens, created through donations and thousands of volunteer hours, are scheduled to be demolished in 2019. Read the full article in the Oct. 11 issue […]

Bridge woes jeopardize subdivision’s access

Bridge woes jeopardize subdivision’s access

For the residents of Bernath Place, a single-lane bridge along Seneca Trail is their lifeline. The subdivision of a few dozen houses in Milton is somewhat of an island with marsh blocking access on one side and a railroad blocking access on the other. Read the full article in the Oct. 4 issue of Navarre […]

Residents intensify push for Whitesands sidewalk

Residents intensify push for Whitesands sidewalk

Larry Hoffman was hit by a car while jogging along Whitesands Boulevard on Navarre Beach. Now he is working to make sure it does not happen to anyone else. Hoffman was jogging about a foot off the shoulder of the road, part of his daily routine, when a vehicle hit him from behind on March […]

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 […]

County Commission working to revamp animal services

County Commission working to revamp animal services

Cats and kittens brought to the Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter have a nearly 90 percent chance of being euthanized, based on 2016 data from the shelter. This means that only one in 10 cats will leave the shelter alive. This places Santa Rosa County at the highest rate of euthanasia reported in the state, […]

Baskerville-Donovan secures Tom King Bayou design

Baskerville-Donovan secures Tom King Bayou design

For Baskerville-Donovan Inc. (BDI), Holley by the Sea’s flooding woes have become a continuing source of work and income from the county. The Pensacola-based engineering firm has secured more than $1 million for study and design work in the area. Read the full article in the Aug. 2 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe […]

County workers on track for $2.7 million in raises

County workers on track for $2.7 million in raises

Santa Rosa County has had a continuous vacancy problem in the Public Works Department, especially in Road and Bridges, according to Director Stephen Furman. The county reports that Roads and Bridges currently has 12 vacant positions at several different skill levels including mechanics, equipment operators and carpenters. Read the full article in the July 26 […]

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 […]

District 4 County Commission candidates get heated in debate

District 4 County Commission candidates get heated in debate

As the clock winds down toward primary election day, tensions are high between incumbent District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson and opponent Dave Piech. Williamson, owner of Rob Williamson Landscaping, was running for re-election unopposed until November 2017 when Piech filed to run. The retired Air Force commander had served roughly 28 years as an […]

Retired Navy commander hired as assistant county administrator

Retired Navy commander hired as assistant county administrator

Santa Rosa County has a new assistant county administrator. Mark Murray, a retired Navy commander, started work July 9 at an annual salary of $105,000. Read the full article in the July 19 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to receive the online edition of Navarre Press for 30 […]

Local option sales tax may fund new Avalon sports park

Local option sales tax may fund new Avalon sports park

Following the acceptance by voters of a half-cent local option sales tax (LOST) in November 2016, the Board of County Commissioners held a series of public meetings throughout the county asking what the public would like to see done with that money. A repeated plea was recreational space, including additional sports fields. Read the full […]

Sanborn supporters lament his exit from TDC

Sanborn supporters lament his exit from TDC

Jack Sanborn’s forced resignation from the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council last week came so suddenly that some of his supporters missed their chance to send letters backing him. “I was preparing a letter but he resigned before I could send it,” said Milton City Councilman Alan Lowery, who also sits on the volunteer […]

Fire tax increase tentatively approved

Fire tax increase tentatively approved

After months of debate, Santa Rosa County commissioners unanimously approved raising the fees that fund the Navarre Beach Fire Department, increasing its annual budget by roughly $232,000. The tentative approval of the increase in Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) rates, often referred to as the “fire tax,” follows the department’s warnings that it is seriously […]

Update: Sanborn resigns from Tourist Development Council

Update: Sanborn resigns from Tourist Development Council

Update: Jack Sanborn submitted his letter of resignation from his position on the Tourist Development Council Thursday to the Board of County Commissioners. He resigned prior to a scheduled vote to by the BOCC to decide whether or not to remove Sanborn from the council following allegations of threats made on social media and an […]