Santa Rosa County Commissioners

Downscaled courthouse-tax vote set for Aug. 30

Downscaled courthouse-tax vote set for Aug. 30

As Santa Rosa County commissioners have discussed the proposed new courthouse in recent weeks, and a new one-half cent sales tax to pay for it, both have shrunk. Now the stage is set for voters to decide if the building and its funding -both downscaled last week by about one-third in their latest incarnations – […]

Bear-control law shot down

Bear-control law shot down

No, residents of Santa Rosa won’t be breaking the law by failing to pick up ripe fruit that has fallen from trees or bushes in their yards. County commissioners this week unanimously rejected adopting an ordinance modeled after one in Seminole County that contains such requirements. Despite numerous complaints of black bears being a nuisance, […]

Treated wastewater disposal could cost $1 million

Treated wastewater disposal could cost $1 million

Meanwhile, Navarre Beach Water dumps in the Sound The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is pressing Holley-Navarre Water System (HNWS) to build additional wastewater disposal capacity, but the utility’s best long-term solution has languished within the Santa Rosa County bureaucracy. Commissioners recently started questioning why an agreement that has been in the works for at […]

Timing of sales-tax vote under scrutiny

Timing of sales-tax vote under scrutiny

Some backers of the proposed 1-cent sales tax to pay for a new Santa Rosa County courthouse are debating whether their plan should be put before the voters in prime time. They’re unsure if a required countywide referendum about the local- option sales tax will stand a better chance on the August primary ballot, or […]

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 […]

Beach restoration on hold

Beach restoration on hold

The already-delayed Navarre Beach restoration is now stalled until at least the end of April because of an equipment breakdown that has hit the dredge-and-fill contractor, Weeks Marine Inc. Uncertainty still surrounds exactly how much of the $17 million sand-moving effort will be footed by beach property owners. County Commissioners are discussing budget possibilities that […]

County seeks recreational use of Whiting land

County seeks recreational use of Whiting land

The shortage of land available to expand recreational facilities in Santa Rosa County is prompting commissioners to ask the Navy to let it use part of a vacant 300-acre parcel in a section of Whiting Field. District 3 Commissioner Don Salter suggested last week that the county prepare a “master plan” to determine how much […]

County officials’ travel expenses reviewed

County officials’ travel expenses reviewed

The travel by certain Santa Rosa County officials at taxpayers’ expense to numerous trade shows, government conferences and industry seminars is raising questions about the value of some trips. From the North American Travel Journalists Convention in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Florida Association of Counties workshops in Ponte Vedra near Jacksonville, the receipts in county […]

County to abandon flood assistance program for 2016

County to abandon flood assistance program for 2016

In a Monday committee meeting, the Board of County Commissioners has decided, in line with staff recommendations, that the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program will be abandoned in 2016 due to lack of resident participation.  The vote will take place in Thursday’s full County Commission meeting. The grant program is designed to give homeowners who have […]

Tough Mudder waffling on promotion promise

Tough Mudder waffling on promotion promise

Despite being given $80,000 in Santa Rosa taxpayer money as an incentive to stage its military-style obstacle course near Milton, Tough Mudder Inc. is apparently reneging on its contractual agreement to host a pre-event party. County tourism officials and commissioners thought they had negotiated the for-profit, New York-based company’s financial support for a party on […]

Property appraiser alerts BOCC to courthouse site bargain

Property appraiser alerts BOCC to courthouse site bargain

Nearly a month before Santa Rosa County Commissioners voted last Thursday to locate the planned new courthouse in downtown Milton, Property Appraiser Greg Brown tried to make them aware of a site he sees as a better value for taxpayers. Read the full article in the Mar. 3 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to […]

Lynchard backs sharing tourist taxes with Gulf Breeze

Lynchard backs sharing tourist taxes with Gulf Breeze

The longtime sharing of county tourist tax dollars with the City of Gulf Breeze that was abruptly halted by Clerk of the Court Don Spencer last fall should be restarted, said Commission Chairman Lane Lynchard. Last October Spencer ordered a stop to providing Gulf Breeze with up to $134,000 a year in the taxes collected […]

Sheriff’s Office eyes Santa Rosa crime increase

Sheriff’s Office eyes Santa Rosa crime increase

The number of crimes reported in Santa Rosa County last year rose 3.8 percent to 1,717, with non-residents accounting for nearly one in every five arrests. “A lot of our crime comes from people who don’t live here,” Chief Deputy Bob Johnson said. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office force of 256 deputies is stretched more than […]

County not tracking officials’ social media use

County not tracking officials’ social media use

Santa Rosa County’s guidelines and record-keeping practices for its officials’ use of social media fall short of the standards recommended by the Florida Bar that have been adopted by some other counties, including Escambia. Read the full article in the Feb. 18 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 […]

Commissioners seek to accelerate gas-tax projects

Commissioners seek to accelerate gas-tax projects

Commissioners want residents of Santa Rosa County to see tangible results from the gas tax that was implemented Jan. 1. Read the full article in the Feb. 11 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 per year.

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 […]

RESTORE Multi-year implementation plans advance

RESTORE Multi-year implementation plans advance

The 12 projects chosen by the RESTORE council and vetted through the county commissioners in September will move forward as a group or a Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MYIP) this month to the Department of Treasury. Commissioners Rob Williamson and Bob Cole both expressed misgivings about the Second Chance Outreach project, but they were encouraged by […]

County wrestles with burgeoning classroom needs

County wrestles with burgeoning classroom needs

Santa Rosa County education leaders may soon be calculating the distance between Navarre and Vancouver, British Columbia. The answer isn’t part of a geography test, but rather a measurement that might be used to illustrate how far county school buses carry students every day. That’s to prove to the Florida Department of Education that while […]

Santa Rosa area legislators support fracking

Santa Rosa area legislators support fracking

The overthrow of local authority to limit fracking, the controversial method of drilling for oil and natural gas after injecting chemicals underground to fracture rock formations, is being supported by Northwest Florida legislators. Members of this area’s Tallahassee delegation in the House and Senate are supporting bills in the current session that would essentially approve […]

Tourism leaders seek delay in beach dredging

Tourism leaders seek delay in beach dredging

The cheapest price isn’t the best deal on the $15 million dredging project to renourish Navarre Beach this spring, area tourism leaders assert. They estimate the economic damage to the area’s leisure industry at $10 million, far more than Santa Rosa County Commissioners will save by recently accepting the lowest bid from Weeks Marine Inc., […]

Tough Mudder deal criticized by tourism leaders

Tough Mudder deal criticized by tourism leaders

Santa Rosa County officials now concede that there was no effort to negotiate before agreeing to pay Tough Mudder Inc. a $110,000 subsidy in return for staging its military-style endurance event near Milton next April. Both the inducement amount and the New York-based, for-profit company’s estimate of the economic benefits resulting from its first event […]

Candidate’s visits prompt questions

Like many other Santa Rosa County residents this campaign season, Norman Stephens was visited by a political candidate. Rob Williamson, who is seeking the District 4 county commission seat, stopped by Stephen’s house in Milton to campaign. Stephens, who has yard signs supporting Commission Chairman Jim Melvin, said during the visit Williamson claimed Melvin appointed […]

Candidates debut in first debate

Candidates debut in first debate

Nearly 50 people attended a Feb. 6 debate hosted by the Central Republican Club for the Santa Rosa County Commission District 4 seat, which represents the greater Navarre area. Currently five candidates are in that race – all of whom are Republican. The event gave commission hopefuls the opportunity to introduce themselves. Michael Sallmen, president […]

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