Santa Rosa County Commissioners

Miracle League ball field to open next year

Miracle League ball field to open next year

If all goes according to plan, America’s pastime will be a lot more inclusive in south Santa Rosa County starting next spring. Tiger Point Park is set to receive the county’s first Miracle League baseball field following approval by Santa Rosa County commissioners May 10. Read the full article in the May 17 issue of […]

Missing millions, Santa Rosa moves to boot medical examiner

Missing millions, Santa Rosa moves to boot medical examiner

Santa Rosa County commissioners are not sure what they bought with roughly $2.5 million of taxpayer money. The funds, paid over a 15-year period to the office of the area’s chief medical examiner, all fall under the title “professional services.” Santa Rosa County Clerk of Courts Don Spencer said defining what is included in that […]

Solving over-crowding on Hwy 98

Solving over-crowding on Hwy 98

While the Florida Department of Transportation continues to pursue expanding U.S. Highway 98 to six lanes and implementing a flyover in the Heart of Navarre, the thoroughfare continues to increase beyond its intended maximum capacity. When an accident occurs, the areas only major east-west corridor can become blocked, leaving both local and long-distance traffic at […]

Santa Rosa tourists here for friends, stay for events

Santa Rosa tourists here for friends, stay for events

County Commissioners and Tourist Development Council (TDC) members gained insight into the impact of tourism in the county last week as the University of West Florida Haas Center unveiled the Tourism Market Economic Impact Study. This yearlong effort examined many aspects of tourism including spending by visitors, where visitors were coming from and how this […]

Rubble rivalry halted by county

Rubble rivalry halted by county

Santa Rosa commissioners decided against pursuing their contentious claim to concrete chunks from next year’s planned demolition of the old Pensacola Bay Bridge to be used as material for offshore reef building. They balked partly at competing with Escambia County, which also wants a major portion of the estimated 150,000 tons of rubble that will […]

County abandons beach effluent irrigation plan

County abandons beach effluent irrigation plan

Santa Rosa County will not be sprinkling effluent on Gulf Boulevard. The cost is too high, and the impact is too low. The Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association (NBLRA) has been lobbying for irrigation to be added along Gulf Boulevard to improve landscaping on the beach’s main street. The group has also been advocating […]

Williamson to Tourist Development Committee: ‘Stay in your lane’

Williamson to Tourist Development Committee: ‘Stay in your lane’

In Thursday’s Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners meeting, District 4 commissioner Rob Williamson questioned the Tourist Development committee’s recommendation to keep $1 million in reserve funds. Noting that the staff recommendation is to keep $750,000 in the reserve fund, Williamson asked, “What is the compelling reason to push it to a million dollars and […]

Storage units planned for Heart of Navarre

Storage units planned for Heart of Navarre

County Commissioner Lane Lynchard has requested a variance from zoning laws in the Heart of Navarre to build a self-storage business. Lynchard and business partner Nadja Robles plan to build a storage unit facility along Highway 87 north of James M. Harvell Road. The 5.2-acre property is next door to Navarre Cross Fit. The Zoning […]

Rubble rivalry may have ‘pieceful’ solution

Rubble rivalry may have ‘pieceful’ solution

There should be plenty of big concrete chunks from next year’s planned demolition of the old Pensacola Bay Bridge to supply the offshore reef-building needs of both Santa Rosa and Escambia for years to come. Although some commissioners from both counties are contentiously claiming shares of the valuable material to construct habitat for sport fish, […]

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 […]

Access road could clash with neighborhood needs

Access road could clash with neighborhood needs

Fueled by continued frustration over congestion on U.S. Highway 98, the Santa Rosa County Commission took a step forward Monday toward creating an alternative route. The board approved a feasibility study on the possible construction of a Navarre Community Access Road north of U.S. Highway 98 between Edgewood Drive and Whispering Pines Boulevard. A joint […]

The district 4 Master Plan: a reflection of you

The district 4 Master Plan: a reflection of you

If you have read this paper over the last few months, years or even weeks, you know what issues Navarre is facing. Rapid growth of population, unmanaged stormwater, traffic problems, over taxed infrastructure and a steady disappearance of green spaces are a few. But what do we do about it? For the past five weeks […]

Flashing sign has beach residents seeing red

Flashing sign has beach residents seeing red

A flashing sign ruffled feathers on the beach last week as members of the Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association discussed petitioning the county to have a sign removed. The sign in question was recently installed in front of Re/Max on the Beach at 8228 Gulf Blvd. The sign is an electronic lit screen that […]

Cole named County Commission chairman

Cole named County Commission chairman

With a shake of the hand, Board of County Commissioners Chairman Rob Williamson of Navarre passed the gavel Nov. 9 to incoming chairman County Commissioner Bob Cole during the board’s annual reorganization meeting. Cole is the representative for District 2 which includes the Milton and East Milton area. He will lead the board for fiscal […]

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 […]

Gulf Breeze makeover needs investors

Gulf Breeze makeover needs investors

The City of Gulf Breeze’s recent $30 million request for BP oil spill funds is part of a push to solve its identity crisis. The beachy hamlet of about 6,000 souls “currently lacks a ‘Town Center,’” according to the makeover proposal submitted by City Manager Samantha Abell. Creating a new civic and commercial core would […]

Living the Pink Pirate way

Living the Pink Pirate way

Tomorrow is Pink Day! The Pink Pirates of Navarre have celebrated Pink Day for the last three years with the help of county commissioners and other local support. The mission of the pirates is to encourage women to get mammograms. As part of that goal, each year they celebrate Pinktoberfest and host a 5K run, […]

House Speaker scolds tourism office

House Speaker scolds tourism office

Santa Rosa officials have sidestepped the volunteer Tourist Development Council to revoke the county’s longtime membership in the state’s leisure industry marketing agency–Visit Florida–prompting a warning from state House Speaker Richard Corcoran. Corcoran described the move led by County Tourism Director Julie Morgan as a “futile attempt to shield financial information from public scrutiny” in […]

County passed up economic planning grant

County passed up economic planning grant

Every year Santa Rosa officials apply for and win grants for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state and federal governments, and they’re currently focused on gaining millions more as the county’s share of the BP oil spill settlement. So with a blizzard of grants available annually from various agencies, it probably isn’t surprising […]

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 […]

No art in this deal

No art in this deal

To paraphrase John Goodman as Walter Sobchak in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 crime comedy “The Big Lebowski”: “Just because we’re taxpayers doesn’t mean we’re saps.” Walter got irate when he thought a funeral director demanded too much money for a crematory urn. Instead of overpaying, the bereaved Sobchak buys a coffee can at a nearby […]

County gets five offers of land for courthouse

County gets five offers of land for courthouse

Five Santa Rosa property owners have come forward with offers of land—one for free and the others for sale—on which to build a new county courthouse. The overtures are in response to county commissioners’ request last month for bids as they reassess their previously unsuccessful strategy to replace the aging downtown Milton courthouse. Read the […]

Pier partners pardoned for contract violation

Pier partners pardoned for contract violation

Threatened with possible eviction from their Navarre Beach Pier business, the embattled principals who run it bought more time this week with a three-year-late payment of $3,250 on their revenue-sharing pact with the county. County Attorney Roy Andrews backed off his recent ultimatum to Coastal Concessions LLC over the company’s unauthorized subcontract with an outside […]

County pursues overdue lease fees

County pursues overdue lease fees

Two years after county commissioners agreed to cap the annual lease fees on Navarre Beach residential property at $250 year, more than 200 leaseholder accounts are still overdue with total delinquencies exceeding $200,000. Read the full article in the April 20 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per […]

Pier partners jockey for position

Pier partners jockey for position

As county commissioners prepare to advertise for a replacement of the embattled company that manages Navarre Beach Pier, the partners of Coastal Concessions, LLC continue their infighting over who should be in charge until their current contract ends Dec. 31. Read the full article in the April 13 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at […]

Courthouse quest still confounds commission

Courthouse quest still confounds commission

When ideas began to emerge for a new Santa Rosa County courthouse 17 years ago, District 1 Commissioner Sam Parker was a student at Milton High School. While the 32-year-old freshman commissioner expressed optimism about prospects for a new courthouse at Monday’s board meeting, he saw firsthand examples of the disagreements and disparate approaches that […]

County officials’ travel expenses vary widely

County officials’ travel expenses vary widely

The work-related travel by certain Santa Rosa County officials at taxpayers’ expense more than doubled during the past year, while some others cut back on business trips. From a New York Times travel trade show in Manhattan to a National Association of Counties annual conference in Los Angeles, the receipts in county records total thousands […]

Pier partners owe county

Pier partners owe county

The already shaky partnership that manages the Navarre Beach Pier is crumbling amid unpaid state sales taxes leading to issuance of a tax warrant and failure to make the lease payment due to Santa Rosa County earlier this month. Read the full article in the March 23 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com […]

County works with HBTS to tackle drainage problems

County works with HBTS to tackle drainage problems

As county commissioners prepare to spend millions of dollars to improve drainage in Holley by the Sea, county staff members are coordinating with the Homeowners Association to better regulate how new construction will affect drainage in the neighborhood. Read the full article in the March 23 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for […]

Walking on Sunshine

Walking on Sunshine

Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law gives the public the right of access to government meetings and public records. It ensures that government works out in the open for all to see – no backroom conversations between elected officials before a vote. However, as we recently found out, in Santa Rosa County those officials can send texts or […]

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