Dan Schebler

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. […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

New courthouse taking shape

New courthouse taking shape

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are not yet picking out paint colors or curtains for a new Santa Rosa County Courthouse, but they have selected the shape of the new building. With a large landscaped plaza area to one side, the entrance to the new three-story judicial building would have soaring windows with large pillar-like supports. […]

Pier patches to get a touch up

Pier patches to get a touch up

While the actual redecking of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is potentially months away, replacing 121 bright orange plywood patches could be underway soon. County Commissioners said they were opposed to the current patches May 9 during their regular meeting at Tiger Point Community Center.   Read the full article in the May 16 issue […]

Santa Rosa to get county flag

Santa Rosa to get county flag

Members of Leadership Santa Rosa class 33 have proposed creating an official county flag as their community project. Magen Norwood of Santa Rosa Medical Center spoke on behalf of the class. “An idea that has been circulating through our class has been to create a county flag. We would like your input on it,” she […]

Symposium shines economic light on Northwest Florida

Symposium shines economic light on Northwest Florida

Movers and shakers of Northwest Florida convened in Miramar Beach April 17-18 with the intent of growing economic success in the region during the 22nd Gulf Power Economic Symposium, held at Baytowne Conference Center at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. This year’s theme was Our Time. Our Place. Our Now! Read the full article in the […]

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 […]