Sheila Fitzgerald

Marine Park improvements on schedule for April completion

Marine Park improvements on schedule for April completion

Winter beachgoers at Navarre Beach Marine Park may have noticed black silt fencing, work crews and heavy machinery since early November along their coastline. The work underway is part of new visitor amenities coming to the park, coordinated and paid for by roughly $3 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) grants through the Florida […]

More than $3 million in improvements coming to Navarre Beach

More than $3 million in improvements coming to Navarre Beach

Construction of additional picnic pavilions and parking facilities in the Navarre Beach Marine Park will get underway shortly after Labor Day, according to Santa Rosa County Grants and Special Programs Director Sheila Fitzgerald. The planned improvements are funded largely by a roughly $2 million Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) grant through the Florida Department of […]

Project underway to spruce up State Road 87

Project underway to spruce up State Road 87

Workers broke ground May 29 along State Road 87 on a project to give tourists a more aesthetically pleasing entry into Navarre, Santa Rosa County’s largest tourist-tax generating region. The project incorporates new landscaping and signage along roughly three miles on 87 to be installed by Piney Grove Nursery & Landscaping LLC. Design work was […]

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

1. TDC gets grant for sanctuary signage and brochures Now that the Navarre Beach near-shore snorkel reef has nearly doubled in size, Santa Rosa County is seeking ways to lead people to it and to the other features of the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary. With that in mind, the county applied for a $10,000 grant […]

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 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 […]

Hurricane training prepares county nerve center for the worst

Hurricane training prepares county nerve center for the worst

Hurricane season is here, and in preparation the Santa Rosa County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in Milton ran their annual hurricane exercises for 2017. Representatives from every agency from city governments to federal relief programs gathered at the EOC to participate in mock scenarios that would familiarize them with the system county Emergency Management Director […]

Flood mitigation priorities to be reassessed

Flood mitigation priorities to be reassessed

When grant money is available for mitigating flood risks in the county, there is a project priority list ready and waiting, but projects to improve persistent flooding in Holley by the Sea (HBTS) are few on the list. Santa Rosa County’s Local Mitigation Strategy board (LMS) meets once a quarter to prioritize these projects, discuss […]

New Gulf Breeze trail would encircle neighborhoods

New Gulf Breeze trail would encircle neighborhoods

Gulf Breeze officials are planning a multi-use pedestrian and bike path that would ring most of the city’s neighborhoods west of Highway 98, comprising nearly 4 miles of paved, 10-foot-wide pathway. Read the full article in the March 2 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

County weighs company for reef expansion project

County weighs company for reef expansion project

Expansion of Navarre Beach’s two artificial reefs could be a step closer if the Board of County Commissioners votes Thursday to select Taylor Engineering to guide the project toward completion. Paid for in part by a Deepwater Horizon Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) grant, the reef expansion would add 60 modules to the existing snorkel […]

Take a walk through history at Bagdad Mill Site Park

Take a walk through history at Bagdad Mill Site Park

The Bagdad Mill Site Park, a grassy space on the bank of Blackwater River and Pond Creek, has been named a Florida Heritage Site, an honor awarded to only six locations in Santa Rosa County. A large, black plaque describing the birth of this lumber mill community and its significance during the Civil War stands […]

New park’s lack of restrooms questioned

New park’s lack of restrooms questioned

The county’s new $750,000 Bagdad Mill Site Park that’s scheduled to open May 16 will be a recreational showplace, but some tourism leaders have questioned why it won’t have public restrooms. “We need bathrooms at parks where families will bring their children,” said Kyle Holley, a member of Santa Rosa County’s volunteer Tourism Development Council, […]

Navarre Beach renewal in line behind Sarasota

Navarre Beach renewal in line behind Sarasota

When Weeks Marine Inc. postponed its scheduled restoration of Pensacola Beach last week it seemed to signal that the company could start dredging and filling on Navarre Beach as planned on or about April 1. That’s because some of the same equipment and crew members used in filling in Pensacola Beach with sand dredged from […]

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 will seek more time to restore beach

County will seek more time to restore beach

The local hospitality industry’s quest to delay the Navarre Beach restoration project may get inadvertent support from Sheila Fitzgerald, director of Santa Rosa County special projects and grants. This move is unrelated to the Tourist Development Council’s recent plea to county commissioners that the $15 million project be pushed back to start after Labor Day […]

RFP approval, contract execution next steps in reef project process

RFP approval, contract execution next steps in reef project process

Steps still need to be taken before work begins on two artificial reef projects off Navarre Beach, but according to Navarre Chamber Foundation President Mike Sandler, things continue to move forward. The next step is the contracting process. “There is nothing stopping the county from proceeding with the snorkel reef at Navarre Beach Marine Park,” […]

New Santa Rosa County strategy to ward off stormwater

New Santa Rosa County strategy to ward off stormwater

Six years in the making with input from dozens of Santa Rosa County residents, emergency officials and engineers, the new Local Mitigation Strategy poses 45 ways to reduce the impact of flooding: from landscaping low areas for better drainage to requiring that new construction be elevated. And just in case, encourage property owners to purchase […]

Public pushes back on RESTORE plans

Public pushes back on RESTORE plans

Too much process and not enough progress to protect our precious coast. That’s the reaction of about a dozen Santa Rosa County residents to the local RESTORE Act council’s recommendations for spending $3.7 million in BP oil spill recovery money on 15 projects conceived as boosts for the area’s environment and economy. “What saddened me […]