Judicial center

Santa Rosa’s growth gap increasing

Santa Rosa’s growth gap increasing

Although the central and south areas of Santa Rosa have long outpaced the north in residential development, the disparity is rising amid a wave of homebuilding since the Great Recession. The number of new houses built in Santa Rosa below the Blackwater River area—from Milton to Navarre Beach—reached 1,243 in 2015, the most recent year […]

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 […]

Fate of old courthouse building undetermined

Fate of old courthouse building undetermined

While argument over the location and funding of a new county courthouse is in full swing, the fate of the old courthouse remains unclear. Built in 1927, the building at 6865 Caroline Street in Milton, Fla. has served as Santa Rosa County’s court building for more than 80 years, costing $137,000 to build. There is […]

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 […]

Sales tax backers labor to woo voters

Sales tax backers labor to woo voters

Tinkering with the nuts and bolts of their sales tax appeal to voters scheduled for the Aug. 30 ballot, county commissioners are trying to make it fly as they keep getting flak from the idea’s critics. Only 10 days before the deadline to submit the proposal to the county elections office, commissioners finally decided on […]

Courthouse report submitted to commissioners

Courthouse report submitted to commissioners

Conceptual design renderings have been released to the Board of County Commissioners in preparation for Monday’s BOCC Committee meeting.  The company responsible for the renderings, HOK, will present a report to the commissioners that includes renderings, timelines, construction details and a cost estimate.  The proposed center is slated to be a three-story building with 135,000 […]

Courthouse cost and tax details remain unclear

Courthouse cost and tax details remain unclear

The clock is ticking on Santa Rosa County commissioners to make their case to voters for a 1-cent local option sales tax that would help pay for a new courthouse in Milton. To get the proposed tax on the ballot next August that language must be crafted by June 1, but so far the commissioners […]

New courthouse encounters trial and tribulation

New courthouse encounters trial and tribulation

For a building in which evidence is supposed to carry the day, the proposed new Santa Rosa County courthouse in Milton appears in need of a strong closing argument. Burdened by the sales-tax increase that will require voters’ support to fund it, the new courthouse is mired in politics and indecision. Read the full article […]

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 […]

Local-Option Sales Tax on November ballot

Local-Option Sales Tax on November ballot

Santa Rosa County Commissioners will again seek a local-option sales tax (LOST) in November to fund the building of a new courthouse on a site that has yet to be determined. The LOST would come on the heels of a gas tax implemented Jan. 1 that brought the taxes paid on gas from 6 cents […]

Lynchard gets gavel as chairman

Lynchard gets gavel as chairman

Santa Rosa County officials have discussed building a new courthouse for more than two decades. Last week, they agreed waiting another month to decide the fate of a proposed site wouldn’t hurt. Commissioners are divided on a recent proposal to build the judicial center, estimated to cost between $30 – $40 million, in a low-lying […]