Ed Carson

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 […]

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 […]

Courthouse plans may include south-side satellite

Courthouse plans may include south-side satellite

The possibility of building a Santa Rosa Courthouse annex in the Navarre-Midway area with at least one courtroom is gaining traction. While occasionally suggested in the past by various commissioners, making the south-side judicial facility a reality has always taken a back seat to the county’s tortured effort to fund and construct a new main […]

Local Rotarians feed thousands through mass donation event

Local Rotarians feed thousands through mass donation event

One in four children in Santa Rosa County will go to bed hungry tonight. “They are not going to bed hungry because they wouldn’t eat their brussels sprouts or didn’t like what’s for dinner. They are going to bed hungry because their family does not have enough food,” said DeDe Flounlacker, executive director of Manna […]

LOST committee scrutinizes 2018 projects

LOST committee scrutinizes 2018 projects

In their first meeting Tuesday, the Santa Rosa County Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Citizen Committee has turned a critical eye on potential projects for the 2018 school year. One project drawing criticism from multiple members of the 10 member committee is the conversion of the Santa Rosa County Jail air conditioning unit to a […]

Some oversight volunteers feel ignored

Some oversight volunteers feel ignored

Although a citizens group is supposed to oversee how the county’s new half-cent local option sales tax is spent, some members of that panel say the real decisions are being made without their input. Read the full article in the May 18 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 […]

LOST committee lost in the weeds

LOST committee lost in the weeds

Debate over what projects will be funded and who decides on those projects left the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) without a clear path forward for the estimated $39.5 million to be collected on the half cent local option sales tax, or LOST, Tuesday following the board’s annual Planning Workshop. Read the full article in […]

Oversight or hindsight?

Oversight or hindsight?

The county has published their proposed spending plan for an estimated $39 million in local option sales tax funds, and not surprisingly folks aren’t happy with the distribution. The projects listed are clearly important. The first responders’ radio tower that is listed at a price of $750,000 should have been built years ago. It is […]

Wyrosdick eyes tax support and new schools

Wyrosdick eyes tax support and new schools

With three new schools in Tim Wyrosdick’s five-year plan, he’s rallying support to renew the existing half-cent sales tax that will help pay for them while his staff scouts likely locations. An extension of the Santa Rosa County School District’s two-decade-old local option levy will be the lone item on a March 28 referendum ballot. […]

Nominees for sales tax oversight committee named

Nominees for sales tax oversight committee named

Collection of a half penny sales tax is underway and county commissioners made their final recommendations Monday for the Infrastructure Surtax Committee, a citizen oversight group. The tax, passed by Santa Rosa voters, is expected to net roughly $35 million over its five year lifetime. These dollars are limited to infrastructure uses including transportation and […]

New tax starts in January

New tax starts in January

Collection of a half-penny sales tax in Santa Rosa County will begin in January of next year, but appointment of the oversight committee for the LOST has been delayed until weeks before that collection. The Infrastructure Surtax Citizen Committee (ISCC) will look at spending of the estimated $35 million of revenue generated by the half-penny […]

Clock is ticking on selling tax to voters

Clock is ticking on selling tax to voters

Voters might have been left with more questions than answers after a presentation by Moving Santa Rosa Forward’s Ed Carson on the half cent local option sales tax (LOST) for capital improvements to the Economic Development and Government Affairs Committee (EDC) Friday, Aug. 19. Though the majority of attendees generally spoke positively about the Aug. […]

Santa Rosa splits on sales tax

Santa Rosa splits on sales tax

Enthusiasm for the two proposed half-penny sales-tax measures is much higher on the north end of Santa Rosa County than in Navarre or Gulf Breeze. As the Aug. 30 election nears, yard signs are easily noticeable in the Milton area, where the planned new county courthouse would be built with revenue from one of the […]

Sales tax spending group to exclude commissioners

Sales tax spending group to exclude commissioners

If the proposed half-cent sales tax for new county infrastructure is passed by voters on Aug. 30, the business community group backing it wants an advisory panel that’s independent of county commissioners to help decide how the money is spent. Citing concern about “public trust,” Ed Carson, who heads Moving Santa Rosa Forward, a volunteer […]

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 […]

One way or another, courthouse paid by tax payers

One way or another, courthouse paid by tax payers

Funding for county infrastructure needs and a new county courthouse will be decided by voters this August as the two separate half cent local option sales taxes (LOST) have been finalized for the primary ballot by the Board of County Commissioners. If approved by voters, both of these taxes would add half a cent each […]

Timing of sales-tax vote under scrutiny

Timing of sales-tax vote under scrutiny

Some backers of the proposed 1-cent sales tax to pay for a new Santa Rosa County courthouse are debating whether their plan should be put before the voters in prime time. They’re unsure if a required countywide referendum about the local- option sales tax will stand a better chance on the August primary ballot, or […]