Fairpoint Regional Utility System

My town

My town

I am the Holley Navarre Water System board director who voted against hiring Rob Williamson as CEO of the utility. My friends and family keep asking me, “why don’t you just quit? You have nothing to gain and nothing is going to change.” My answer is because this is my town. I got my first […]

Utility gives Williamson free rein on travel

Utility gives Williamson free rein on travel

With a new travel budget equal to the $50,000 a year authorized for the entire Santa Rosa County Commission, new Holley Navarre Water System CEO Rob Williamson doesn’t need pre-approval for out-of-town trips to lobby or for other purposes. Although volunteer utility board President Will Goulet told the Navarre Press that the $50,000 isn’t a […]

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 […]

Holley Navarre Water System: How to vote

Holley Navarre Water System: How to vote

HNWS election important dates Dec. 3: Annual notices sent to all members Dec. 14: Proxies and absentee ballots become available by request Dec. 28: Deadline for members to request proxies and absentee ballots by mail or email; no    ballots will be mailed or emailed to members after this date Jan. 11: Deadline 4 p.m. for […]

Williamson hire riles water system members

Williamson hire riles water system members

The Holley Navarre Water System Board of Directors met criticism from a packed boardroom over its closed-door hiring of former District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson. Water system members voiced their concerns at a meeting Nov. 20. held in advance of a January election in which four seats on the board are up for grabs. […]

Fairpoint’s finances get big boost

Fairpoint’s finances get big boost

The collective of utilities that supplies Holley Navarre Water System has discovered a line of low-interest credit that can apparently be used to cover much of its infrastructure costs for years to come. John Grant, the volunteer president of Fairpoint Regional Utility System, told the Navarre Press: “We found a million dollars that we didn’t […]

Water utility accident prompts state inquiry

Water utility accident prompts state inquiry

Holley Navarre Water System has lost at least a quarter of its wastewater treatment capacity due to an operator’s mistake at the utility’s main plant on Sept. 24 and state regulators are requesting details. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has written a letter to HNWS General Manager Paul Gardner seeking “a report of the […]

Water experts lose bids for utility board

Water experts lose bids for utility board

Based on their many years of professional experience in water operations, Charles “Buddy” Ingram and Elisa Bailey appeared to be the most qualified of 11 candidates who recently ran for election to the Holley Navarre Water System board. Yet they came in 9th and 10th respectively—far behind the straw poll’s top four vote getters, all […]

Contaminants minimal in Gulf Breeze tap water

Contaminants minimal in Gulf Breeze tap water

Let’s get this part out of the way: the drinking water provided by the City of Gulf Breeze through its two utilities to customers all the way from the city itself to Tiger Point isn’t perfect. But it isn’t likely to make you sick either. Read the full article in the July 12 issue of […]

Calkins’ legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

Calkins’  legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

James Calkins is moving on with an eye on moving up. The 32-year-old real estate investor resigned as president of the Holley Navarre Water System board last Thursday. He capped off the day by being named to the county-wide Santa Rosa Zoning Board. Read the full article in the June 21 issue of Navarre Press. Click […]

New chapter begins in water board tumult

New chapter begins in water board tumult

Going full circle in reorganizing for the second time since January, what’s left of the Holley Navarre Water System board seems to be right where it was early this year: promising transparency and better management. But the new era being touted by freshly minted President Will Goulet began with a purge this week. Goulet loyalists […]

Follow the trail of money

Follow the trail of money

This week’s story by Rob Johnson on the Fairpoint refinancing sheds a lot of light on the entire deal that is now for all purposes – dead. Fairpoint’s board president, Buz Eddy is looking a little contrite after causing quite the stir over the supposed urgent need for refinancing Fairpoint’s debt. He and fellow board […]

Fairpoint’s finances raise questions

Fairpoint’s finances raise questions

The concerns that prompted Gulf Breeze-based officials of Fairpoint Regional Utility System to press for a controversial debt restructuring last year have largely drowned in black ink. Also gone—at least for now—are fears that an increase in the price of water that Fairpoint sells to the collective’s members, such as Holley Navarre Water System, could […]

Transparency first on water board’s list

Transparency first on water board’s list

The heated and contentious Holley-Navarre Water Board elections are over and the handful of members that voted sent a clear message: vote ‘no’ to the refinancing of Fairpoint Regional Utilities debt and operate more transparently. That is exactly what the board now intends to do, according to the president of the board, James Calkins. Read […]

Fairpoint debt deal appears dead

Fairpoint debt deal appears dead

The controversial loan restructuring that would have raised the debt total of Fairpoint Regional Utility System by about 40 percent took a big hit last week when Holley Navarre Water System voted in a new board. Fairpoint needs the support of all three of the collective’s member utilities, and the likelihood of getting that from […]

Candidates for Holley-Navarre Water board face off

Candidates for Holley-Navarre Water board face off

Holley-Navarre Water System will hold an election for two of the seven seats on its board of directors Jan. 16. Five candidates have been declared in the race: incumbent Troy Bossier, incumbent Gaius Bruce, William Goulet (previously served on the board), Daryl Lynchard (previously served on the board) and Mark Miller. Candidates must be an […]

Scope of Gulf Breeze probe could widen

Scope of Gulf Breeze probe could widen

The planned inquiry by the Florida Auditor General’s Office into the City of Gulf Breeze’s finances will take several months and may extend to questions about controversial legal expenditures. Requested recently by State Sen. Doug Broxson, the audit will bring a Tallahassee-based team of accountants and other specialists to set up shop at Gulf Breeze […]

Sunshine Law cloudy for Fairpoint Regional

Sunshine Law cloudy for Fairpoint Regional

While a recent unannounced gathering of some Fairpoint Regional Utility Service directors may appear to have violated Florida’s Sunshine Law, some are questioning their obligation to meet in public. In fact, Holley Navarre Water’s president, Bien May—who is also a Fairpoint director–when asked by a reporter recently whether the Sunshine Law applies to the boards […]

Water board under Sunshine Law scrutiny

Water board under Sunshine Law scrutiny

Allegations that three of Fairpoint Regional Utility’s seven board members violated Florida’s Sunshine Law by meeting in private last month are under review by the State Attorney’s Office in Pensacola. “The only thing I can say at this time is I can confirm that we have received a copy of the complaint regarding the Sunshine […]

Suspicions rile water board

Suspicions rile water board

The rebellion among Holley Navarre Water System board members against proposed debt restructuring by the collective that supplies their water focuses on concerns that the motive behind the deal is actually to enrich the City of Gulf Breeze. “It’s a money grab,” said Brian Kelly, an HNWS director and finance committee chairman in an email […]

Water board faces outside political pressure

Water board faces outside political pressure

Do it our way. That’s the message from City of Gulf Breeze officials to the Holley Navarre Water System board about a controversial proposal to refinance $9.8 million in debt held by the collective from which the utility buys most of its water. A majority of HNWS directors recently rebuffed the inperson pitch by Fairpoint […]

Winds of change buffet water board

Winds of change buffet water board

The fractious fraternity that makes up the seven-member board of Holley Navarre Water System is becoming more strident with almost every monthly meeting and the delicate balance of voting power may be in for a shake-up. That’s partly because the utility’s board elections scheduled for January could bring the return of Daryl Lynchard, the board […]

Water utilities to gamble on more debt

Water utilities to gamble on more debt

Failing to set aside funds for emergencies has previously meant a financing scramble for the utility collective that provides water to south Santa Rosa, and now officials think they see a solution: take on about $4 million in long-term debt. Though perhaps unlikely at first glance, the strategy of Holley Navarre Water System and the […]

Questions surface about Fairpoint as water prices rise

Questions surface about Fairpoint as water prices rise

Questions about accounting and certain employee expenses are drawing more oversight of Fairpoint Regional Utility System, a collective that is mutually owned by four area water companies. The increased scrutiny comes at a time when Fairpoint is sharply raising the wholesale price of water it supplies to the four customers: Holley-Navarre Water System, Gulf Breeze/South […]

Holley-Navarre Water rate increase coming

Holley-Navarre Water rate increase coming

Holley-Navarre Water System Inc. plans to raise rates for its roughly 14,000 customers by the end of 2015. In a statement, the nonprofit utility cited several extraordinary recent and upcoming expenses, but declined to be specific about how much they cost or the amount of the looming rate increase. “We’re just letting everybody know there […]

Water authority approves $150K settlement

Water authority approves $150K settlement

A break in Fairpoint Regional Utility System’s main water line, which serves all of south Santa Rosa County, will cost more than twice the initial repair estimates of $414,000. Additionally, project delays have caused problems for other water utilities which rely on its service. Fairpoint Regional Utility System (FRUS) water wells, located in East Milton, […]