Santa Rosa County Commissioners

Navarre Beach Utility to suspend late fees, service cutoffs

Navarre Beach Utility to suspend late fees, service cutoffs

Following the example of several water utilities in the region, Santa Rosa County Commissioners will consider suspending late fees and cutoffs for Navarre Beach Utility customers impacted by COVID-19.  The suspension of late fees and cutoffs of service would include bills issued from April 15 to July 15. Two months of non-payment would normally result […]

Five things to know: Land Development Code rewrite

Five things to know: Land Development Code rewrite

County Commissioners, builders, citizens and stakeholders got their first look last week at the complete rewrite of one Santa Rosa’s most important governing documents. The new Land Development Code is roughly 444 pages long, taking reference from Panama City’s codes and hundreds of citizen comments.   The rewrite was launched by Planning and Zoning Director […]

Courthouse project already over budget

Courthouse project already over budget

While the Santa Rosa County Commission boardroom was packed twice last week over a pro-life resolution, another item largely flew under the radar–and it is costing taxpayers at least $77,209. Price estimates for site work on the new county courthouse on Avalon Boulevard are more than $3.1 million, bringing the total preconstruction cost to roughly […]

Workshop seeks citizen input on future budget

Workshop seeks citizen input on future budget

Citizens of Santa Rosa County got a chance to balance the government budget for themselves Feb. 4 during the Your County-Your Priorities Workshop at the Milton Auditorium. During the activity, participants were asked to make monetary allocations to each portion of the expenses of the county based on the county’s actual income. County Administrator Dan […]

County takes $35 million loan for new courthouse

County takes $35 million loan for new courthouse

Santa Rosa County is set to take on a $35 million loan for construction of a new courthouse on Avalon Boulevard, with an expected interest payment of $13 million over 20 years. Commissioners voted Jan. 9 to pursue Synovus Bank’s offer as the best option of the six tax-exempt, fixed rate, non-bank qualified loan offers […]

Panhandle Butterfly House moving to Milton

Panhandle Butterfly House moving to Milton

A staple of Navarre Park for more than two decades, the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) has cleared a major hurdle in relocating to a historic home in Milton. PBH representative Jenny Weber updated County Commissioners on the project’s future Dec. 12. “Milton is going to be a great location because it’s in the heart of […]

Local students win Christmas card contest

Local students win Christmas card contest

After thoughtful review of many fine submissions, judges selected winners of Santa Rosa County’s first Christmas card coloring contest. The winners were announced publicly Dec. 9 at the County Commissioners meeting. The theme for this year’s entries was “Christmas in my community.” The contest was open for third through fifth graders throughout the county.  Each winning artist was given […]

Santa Rosa declared Second Amendment sanctuary

Santa Rosa declared Second Amendment sanctuary

Amid recent lawmaker calls for stricter gun control laws, the Santa Rosa County Commission unanimously supported declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary Dec. 12 during its regular meeting. The vote came less than a week after a gunman killed three unarmed airmen at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The victims were not carrying weapons due […]

Low-cost spay/neuter clinic seeking county support

Low-cost spay/neuter clinic seeking county support

Efforts continue to bring a low-cost spay and neuter clinic to Santa Rosa County, which recently held one of the highest euthanasia rates for cats and dogs in the state. Since nonprofit A HOPE, and founder Brandi Winkleman, launched their efforts in 2016, euthanasia rates have plummeted, and the Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter underwent […]

Potential impact fees inching forward

Potential impact fees inching forward

County commissioners did not commit to impact fees Tuesday during their regular meeting in Milton, but the board that has outright rejected the idea in the past allowed two potential proposals for fees to move forward. Santa Rosa County School District approached the commission back in May to request the board create a draft ordinance […]

5 things to know: Tuesday county commission meeting

5 things to know: Tuesday county commission meeting

The agenda for Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting in Milton is packed with issues that have elicited packed board rooms over the past year including replacement of the entire Zoning Board and potential implementation of impact fees. Here are five of the highlights from the 92-item agenda: Impact fees for school construction After undergoing […]

Residential real estate prices up, inventory low

Residential real estate prices up, inventory low

With prices rising and more people looking to move to Navarre, the housing market continues to see incremental growth through 2019, but shortages of inventory are playing a major role in the real estate narrative. Navarre’s residential real estate market has or nearly has recovered to pre-recession levels on all indicators, according to several data […]

Holley by the Sea septic-to-sewer out of RESTORE

Holley by the Sea septic-to-sewer out of RESTORE

Ahead of today’s deadline for amendments to RESTORE Spill Impact funding plans, Santa Rosa County has opted to withdraw $4 million from septic-to-sewer conversions in Holley by the Sea. County commissioners approved submitting the amendments Oct. 24. The HBTS plan would have laid sewer infrastructure to replace 595 residential septic systems in the massive subdivision. […]

Recycling still on hiatus

Recycling still on hiatus

Restoration of the recycling program in Santa Rosa County is stalled again, marking seven months of recyclable material being dumped in the landfill instead. With a new Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) contract in place, processing of Santa Rosa’s papers, metals, glasses and plastics was scheduled to resume in October. But the plan has hit […]

A win for the citizens of Santa Rosa County

A win for the citizens of Santa Rosa County

Whether you were for or against the sales tax increase on the Oct. 8 ballot, you must give a great deal of credit to the citizens of Santa Rosa County, and eventually the County Commissioners. The citizens rose up and said “no” to the increase in a loud way. And before they voted no, the […]

Sales tax fallout: Zoning board and commissioners respond

Sales tax fallout: Zoning board and commissioners respond

In all but one precinct of voting, a proposed one cent local option sales tax for Santa Rosa County failed to pass Oct. 8. For the County Commissioners who had championed the tax to tackle deteriorated infrastructure and mounting sheriff’s office requests, the result was a wake-up call. After dozens of public hearings in which citizens […]

Gas station nixed near Navarre High School

Gas station nixed near Navarre High School

Plans to build a Cefco gas station at the northwest corner of Highway 87 and High School Boulevard were denied Oct. 10. The Zoning Board rejected several variances to the Land Development Code, including a request to cut the required buffer space between residential houses and underground gas tanks by nearly half.   Read the […]

Tourism council backs dog park on sound, not Gulf

Tourism council backs dog park on sound, not Gulf

County commissioners tossed the ball of creating a dog beach to the Tourist Development Council for its input Oct. 3, but conflicting public opinions have made the topic a hot potato. Current law prohibits dogs on all public beaches. Creation of a beach area allowing dogs was originally proposed in August to be located along the […]

Navarre Park revamp delayed by missing permits

Navarre Park revamp delayed by missing permits

The multimillion-dollar renovation of Navarre Park could be delayed by more than six months thanks to missing wetlands permits from state and federal officials. District 4 County Commissioner Dave Piech, who represents the Navarre area, said the permits were never applied for.   Read the full article in the Oct. 10 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Land in beach marine park secured by county

Land in beach marine park secured by county

Fears that commercial developments would one day be built in the heart of the Navarre Beach Marine Park are coming to an end Thursday as county commissioners officially accept donation of $2 million worth of waterfront property. The nonprofit Trust for Public Land has been working on and off for years to secure purchase of […]

County cracks down on M&M Construction violations

County cracks down on M&M Construction violations

Much of the operations at Juarez M&M Construction in Navarre will have to shut down after county commissioners voted not to change land requirements for property along Constitution Drive Sept. 26 during their Special Rezoning meeting. Neighbor Ron Millis said it is about time something gets done.   Read the full article in the Oct. […]

Sales tax, impact fees on menu for Republican Women

Sales tax, impact fees on menu for Republican Women

Once again discussion on passing an additional half cent sales tax in Santa Rosa County turned to questions about impact fees Tuesday during the Santa Rosa Republican Women’s monthly luncheon. County Administrator Dan Schebler addressed the gathering at Bella Luna in Navarre to dispel some myths circulating about the tax.   Read the full article […]

Dog beach on hold; voluntary license program passes

Dog beach on hold; voluntary license program passes

Santa Rosa County commissioners approved a revamp of the county’s animal control ordinances Sept. 12 during a public hearing in Milton, but those changes did not include the creation of an area for leashed dogs on Navarre Beach. The dog beach area was originally proposed in August to be located along the Santa Rosa Sound […]

Zoning Board rejects request from chronic violator

Zoning Board rejects request from chronic violator

Derelict vehicles, clearing land without permits, operating a business without a site plan and operating an industrial business in a residential area are just a few of the violations attributed to Juarez M&M Construction in Navarre. The company has been in and out of code enforcement cases since 2007. It operates at 1885, 1879, 1859 […]

$178 million county budget headed for approval

$178 million county budget headed for approval

Santa Rosa County is set to approve its largest budget in more than 15 years, but County Commissioners say that’s not the whole story. The board unanimously approved Sept. 12 a roughly $178 million tentative budget for fiscal year 2020. The final public hearing and budget adoption is set for Sept. 24.   Read the full […]

Board gets preview of new courthouse interior

Board gets preview of new courthouse interior

Layout of the interior of a new $45 million county courthouse was revealed to Santa Rosa County commissioners last week as the project inches forward. Jay Smith of Ajax Building, one of a handful of companies tasked with designing the new facility, told commissioners Sept. 9 that the project is proceeding on schedule.   Read […]

Improvements recommended for building process

Improvements recommended for building process

Amid continued complaints from small-business owners, County Commissioner Bob Cole called for some accounting in the planning and building departments Monday during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting. Cole pointed to reports of lengthy delays, continued confusion and changing expectations from projects seeking to get off the ground.   Read the full article in the Sept. […]

One cent local option sales tax election

One cent local option sales tax election

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are pushing hard for an additional half cent sales tax to be added to purchases within Santa Rosa County, but that will be up to the voters to decide Oct. 8. Sample ballots have been mailed and registration books closed for a countywide special election on the issue.   Read the […]

Navarre Beach waters safe despite Facebook scare

Navarre Beach waters safe despite Facebook scare

The Navarre Beach Lifeguard Program apologized Sept. 4 for posting a faulty water quality advisory telling swimmers the beach was unsafe and closing the water to visitors.   Following the initial Facebook post, Beach Safety Director Austin Turnbull announced that the post was a false alarm and that the waters were safe, but the initial post […]

Board OKs rezoning linked to conservation pledge

Board OKs rezoning linked to conservation pledge

County commissioners voted on faith Aug. 22 as they approved the rezoning of more than 400 acres of vacant land near Naval Air Station Whiting Field on the promise the property would be donated as conservation easements. That promise comes from property owner and developer Edwin Henry, owner of Henry Company Homes.     Read […]

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