Local-Option Sales Tax

Settlers Colony receives $6.2 million drainage upgrade

Settlers Colony receives $6.2 million drainage upgrade

Construction of $6.2 million of drainage improvements in Settlers Colony Expansion in Gulf Breeze began Dec. 12. The county project includes installation of an improved stormwater collection and conveyance system with new outfall locations and stormwater treatment components. Read the full article in the Dec. 20 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Piech sets priorities for new job as commissioner

Piech sets priorities for new job as commissioner

District 4 will have a new county commissioner as of Nov. 20, when Dave Piech takes the oath of office for the seat he won in the August election. Giving a preview of what he plans to prioritize, Piech addressed the Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association (NBLRA) Oct. 20. Read the full article in […]

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,” […]

Tourist Development Council critical of north, south inequity

Tourist Development Council critical of north, south inequity

In the past 10 years, three times as many tourist development dollars were spent in Milton than in Navarre for infrastructure improvements. In contrast, the beach alone accounts for more than half of the dollars generated.               Read the full article in the Oct. 11 issue of Navarre Press. […]

County to improve drainage on Venetian Way, Coronado Drive

County to improve drainage on Venetian Way, Coronado Drive

Construction for the Venetian Way and Coronado Drive drainage improvement project in Gulf Breeze began Monday. The project includes improved stormwater systems and construction of an outfall canal to improve the conveyance of stormwater. Read the full article in the Aug. 23 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to […]

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) handled several requests for park funding NYSA playground to get fresh rubber In Navarre, that meant funding to replace the problematic rubber surface for the playground at the NYSA. District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson questioned why the surface needed to be replaced so shortly after it was installed. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Crime down, sheriff’s budget up

Crime down, sheriff’s budget up

In the past six months, crime in Santa Rosa County has dropped 23 percent according to Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Rich Aloy. Accompanying the dropping crime rate has been an increase in clearing of cases by the department, meaning the cases were resolved. Read the full article in the July 5 […]

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 […]

Sunrise Drive reopened

Sunrise Drive reopened

District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson and Holley by the Sea (HBTS) Assistant General Manager Lauren Riley cut the ceremonial ribbon May 16 on stormwater improvements for Sunrise Drive at the entrance to HBTS. They were joined by county Public Works Director Stephen Furman, HBTS board member Tom Beckman and HBTS board president Bob Hutchinson. […]

Edgewood turn lane inching forward

Edgewood turn lane inching forward

  Improvements along Edgewood Drive could be underway by the end of the year said Santa Rosa Assistant County Engineer Michael Schmidt. Among those improvements will be the installation of a dedicated right turn lane at the southernmost point of the roadway that connects East Bay Boulevard to U.S. Highway 98. Read the full article […]

Sunrise Drive work ahead of schedule

Sunrise Drive work ahead of schedule

Elevation and drainage improvements on Sunrise Drive at the entrance to Holley by the Sea are proceeding ahead of schedule may be completed before the June 3 deadline. County Engineer Michael Schmidt said contractor Chavers Construction has been making good progress. Read the full article in the April 5 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

Lucky chain of events saves life of Navarre shopper

Lucky chain of events saves life of Navarre shopper

Randal Leonard of Navarre is a lucky man, in that his wife Janette St. John had him running errands Feb. 22. The 59-year-old was also lucky that he chose to pick up groceries at the Walmart Supercenter in Navarre, where he went into cardiac arrest. Read the full article in the Mar. 29 issue of […]

Sunrise Drive to close for flood-control work

Sunrise Drive to close for flood-control work

Construction to reduce repeated flooding at the entrance of Sunrise Drive in Navarre will begin March 5 with the installation of traffic control measures. This project, funded with roughly $530,000 in local option sales tax (LOST) dollars, is designed to help prevent flooding from the ponds located on each side of Sunrise Drive following extended […]

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 […]

Five things to know: County Commission

Five things to know: County Commission

1. No courthouse tax needed The cost of clearing underbrush from the future location of the new county courthouse came back at a third of the expected amount thanks to a low bid by J.M. Diamond Timber and Conservation, but the commissioners have decided to pass on the effort altogether. More than that, the commissioners […]

Department of Education oversight more like overreach

Department of Education oversight more like overreach

On the front page of Community we shared images of Holley Navarre Primary School students excitedly playing on newly purchased playground equipment for the first time. At a school where the student population has blown past projected growth and threatens to overflow capacity, providing enough space for children to play required a big investment. That […]

Sales tax shuffle

Sales tax shuffle

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are once again seeking to raise sales tax in the county while leaving ad valorem property taxes at their current rate. The new sales tax would levy a half-cent on every dollar spent in the county for items and some services, pushing the sales tax rate in Santa Rosa County to […]

The game of endorsements

The game of endorsements

The announcement was made Monday morning. The Navarre Area Board of Realtors endorses current District 4 commissioner on his re-election bid. Period. Why the hurry? Potential candidates don’t have to file until June. We have a year left until the general election. Wouldn’t your endorsement mean more if you waited and  considered more than one […]

Panel creates funding plan for park upgrades

Panel creates funding plan for park upgrades

After seven hours of argument and compromise, members of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) were able to reach a funding agreement for millions of dollars in Navarre Park improvements. The initial phase of funding would cover roughly $3.6 million for playground equipment, a new splash pad, new east-end restrooms, stormwater improvements and removal of the […]

Update: Park funding sources change

Update: Park funding sources change

Update 9/24 Since Sept. 14, when District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson revealed his master plan for Navarre Park and his recommended funding plan for Phase 1, his funding sources have changed significantly according to the agenda for the Board of County Commissioners meeting slated for Monday.  Williamson’s former funding plan for the first phase was […]

County ready to pay again for economic advice

County ready to pay again for economic advice

The County Commission’s recent proposal to pay up to $120,000 for an economic development strategy devised by a private consultant seems to ignore that it paid $25,000 for such a plan in 2013. In fact, three current commissioners and Santa Rosa Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree are listed in the report by California-based Chabin Concepts […]

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 […]

Courthouse costs mount as site debate drags on

Courthouse costs mount as site debate drags on

For nearly 20 years Santa Rosa County has been arguing the point of creating a new courthouse, and that delay has been costing the county millions. While the back-and-forth on this issue has continued as voters rejected multiple sales-tax increases and locations, the bill to keep the existing building running is growing. In just the […]

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 direction found, committee still directionless

LOST direction found, committee still directionless

County Commissioners seem a little less lost on the LOST (local option sales tax) following Monday’s regular meeting after newly hired assistant county administrator Dan Schebler provided a less structured solution. While the past months have seen project list after project list outlining how the money should be spent each year down to the dime, […]

No LOST love for Holley by the Sea

No LOST love for Holley by the Sea

Requests by residents of Holley by the Sea residents to keep local option sales tax (LOST) funds designated for a nearly $7 million project to improve drainage in the subdivision fell on deaf ears April 18. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) closing statements at the meeting indicated a consensus: the proposed restoration of the […]

Lost L.O.S.T.

Lost L.O.S.T.

Guest Opinion: Lost: “no longer possessed; retained,” and “having gone astray or missed the way.” Based on recent comments regarding storm water projects related to the Local Option Sales Tax revenue tentative projects’ list, it seems District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson is lost on the L.O.S.T. Last November, the voters approved the L.O.S.T. because the […]