Santa Rosa County residents

Williamson hosts fourth listening tour

Williamson hosts fourth listening tour

District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson is hosting his fourth annual countywide listening tour this summer. Residents are encouraged to attend one of three remaining meetings, held at a variety of times and locations, to discuss issues that impact the county as a whole. The next meetings will be: Aug. 30 from 8 to 9 […]

Express lane speeds up registration renewals

Express lane speeds up registration renewals

Santa Rosa County Tax Collector Stan Nichols announced the launch of “Express Lane” service last week. This new service will allow for online renewal and same-day pickup of vehicle, boat or mobile home registrations. Read the full article in the Mar. 8 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to […]

UF Shands partners with helicopter service

UF Shands partners with helicopter service

In a life-threatening emergency, Santa Rosa County residents receive care from the men and women of Lifeguard EMS and firefighters/paramedics. When it becomes clear that an ambulance is not enough, they call in the helicopter. This fleet of flying ambulances is crewed by trained flight clinicians who can provide crucial life-sustaining care while in the […]

Salaries vs. discretionary income

Salaries vs. discretionary income

Santa Rosa County residents make less, spend less and have less left over at the end of the month than those in the rest of the state and surrounding counties, according to findings from The Discretionary Income Report 2017 by Trove Technologies. This study looked at the salaries of workers across the country and compared […]

Courthouse design will need update – and cash

Courthouse design will need update – and cash

Going back to the drawing board can be expensive. Now Santa Rosa officials are wondering if engineering plans for the proposed county courthouse on the newly purchased Avalon Boulevard site will cost anything like the roughly $475,000 already spent on such research for previously proposed locations that’s now at least partly obsolete. Read the full […]

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 […]

Spreading joy, one rock at a time

Spreading joy, one rock at a time

They are everywhere, hidden in bushes, waiting on park benches, perched on windshields and front porches. Residents of Santa Rosa County have started stumbling across dozens of colorfully painted, smile-inducing rocks. Some bear inspirational words. Others have abstract designs or cartoon characters. Read the full article in the Jan. 26 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe […]

Cost of deputy raises $1.8 million

Cost of deputy raises $1.8 million

On Jan. 23, Santa Rosa’s new sheriff Bob Johnson will go before the board to ask for nearly $1.8 million in raises for his deputies trying to fulfill the promise he made to his officers at his swearing in ceremony. The reasoning Johnson says is the stark difference in pay between Santa Rosa and other […]

Santa Rosa offers free adult high school program

Santa Rosa offers free adult high school program

For Santa Rosa County residents looking to complete their high school diploma the county library system offers a free solution that can be completed in under a year. Career High School Online is an accredited online classroom through Cengage company designed to allow adults to complete their diploma without having to repeat courses they have […]

Free health care clinic comes to Santa Rosa

Free health care clinic comes to Santa Rosa

Gulf Coast Remote Area Medical (RAM) will be providing free medical, dental and vision care to hundreds of residents in need at Milton High School Dec. 3 and 4. RAM works with host groups throughout the United States and the world to provide these health clinics in areas where a need has been expressed. Event […]

When, where, how to vote

When, where, how to vote

Roughly 25 percent of Santa Rosa County’s nearly 131,000 voters have already cast their ballot for the presidential election after early voting opened in the county Monday, Oct. 24. Santa Rosa’s voters, the majority of which have been Republican, have cast 19,755 early votes and 13,224 votes by mail. Of the early votes the majority, […]

Tax Collector returns money back to county

Tax Collector returns money back to county

Since 2009 when Stan Colie Nichols first took office as Tax Collector of Santa Rosa County, he has been giving unspent revenues back to various county agencies and taxing authorities representing the citizens of the county. Read the full article in the Oct. 27 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for as little […]

Santa Rosa economic strategy focuses on tax growth

Santa Rosa economic strategy focuses on tax growth

High wages are getting relatively low priority in Santa Rosa’s effort to recruit new employers. Instead, the county’s current approach appears centered on building the tax base by subsidizing new jobs in employment sectors that produce a bigger bang in quantity than quality: retail outlets and call centers. That’s in part a response to public […]

Residents learn about county flood-zone changes

Residents learn about county flood-zone changes

More than 100 Santa Rosa County residents showed up to two meeting Sept. 28 and 29 to discuss changes to the county’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and the potential effects on their flood insurance costs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating coastal region FIRMs across the nation, and Santa Rosa’s potential changes […]

Virtual inspections save time, money

Virtual inspections save time, money

Residents of Santa Rosa County can get work on their homes inspected with a quick online chat thanks to the county’s new virtual inspections. Checks on things like the installation of a new water heater, replacing a window, checking code compliance or adding insulation can now be done through apps such as Facetime or Skype. […]

No property tax increase seen for courthouse

No property tax increase seen for courthouse

Santa Rosa residents won’t have to pay higher ad valorem taxes because they rejected the referendum to fund a new county courthouse in downtown Milton with a temporary sales tax increase. Although some commissioners had indicated before the election that higher property taxes seemed the only alternative to building the $35 million courthouse, three of […]

New facility signals return of recycling to the region

New facility signals return of recycling to the region

Santa Rosa County residents will have recycling service again soon thanks to the construction of the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s state-of-the-art Interim Material Recycling Facility in Pensacola. The 53,460 square-foot facility, adjacent to the Escambia County Perdido Landfill, comes with a price tag of $10.6 million and took nine months to design and build. “We […]

Williamson’s Facebook rant prompts response

Williamson’s Facebook rant prompts response

From Commissioner Williamson on his Facebook page: Good article in press gazette. The Navarre Press had 10 articles attacking Tough Mudder this year. The Navarre Press had 0 articles attacking Tough Mudder last year. That’s does not seem subjective, it’s personal. The sad part is, losing this event did not need to happen. In the […]

Santa Rosa splits on sales tax

Santa Rosa splits on sales tax

Enthusiasm for the two proposed half-penny sales-tax measures is much higher on the north end of Santa Rosa County than in Navarre or Gulf Breeze. As the Aug. 30 election nears, yard signs are easily noticeable in the Milton area, where the planned new county courthouse would be built with revenue from one of the […]

Sales tax spending group to exclude commissioners

Sales tax spending group to exclude commissioners

If the proposed half-cent sales tax for new county infrastructure is passed by voters on Aug. 30, the business community group backing it wants an advisory panel that’s independent of county commissioners to help decide how the money is spent. Citing concern about “public trust,” Ed Carson, who heads Moving Santa Rosa Forward, a volunteer […]

Santa Rosa’s Thin Blue Line

Santa Rosa’s Thin Blue Line

State and federal data show, Santa Rosa County law enforcement are understaffed and underpaid. Compared with neighboring Escambia and Okaloosa counties, there are fewer deputy sheriffs in the field getting paid less, but Santa Rosa is not exactly like its neighbors. Escambia and Okaloosa both have significantly higher populations, and those populations have different make […]

Wild ride as more candidates enter races, others drop out

Wild ride as more candidates enter races, others drop out

Candidate signs have been going up like wildfire here, there and everywhere – something code enforcement won’t be happy about since so many enthusiastic campaign staffers forget to take them down after the elections are over. There were a number of late-minute surprises last week at the Santa Rosa County Elections office in what has […]

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 […]

Get to know the Zoning Board

Get to know the Zoning Board

Created in 2011, the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board governs how land is used in Santa Rosa County. Whether building a grocery store in a neighborhood or digging a pit in the backyard, you will likely have to fill out a request with the Zoning Board. The board consists of two members for each district […]

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, […]

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 […]

Santa Rosa County seeks projects for Day of Service

Santa Rosa County seeks projects for Day of Service

SAFER Santa Rosa, in partnership with Santa Rosa County, is organizing the first-ever Santa Rosa Day of Service on Saturday, July 23. The organization is currently accepting projects for consideration. Read the full article in the April 28 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe online.

County and cities seek recycling in Perdido

County and cities seek recycling in Perdido

The cities of Gulf Breeze and Milton are in discussions to mirror Santa Rosa County’s proposed agreement to send residents’ recyclables to the new Emerald Coast Utilities Authority facility in Escambia County when it opens this summer. Separate contracts that are now in the works would join about 27,000 residents of the county and two […]

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 […]