County reserves drop by $14 million

Posted on July 13, 2020 by Staff reports

Santa Rosa County Commissioners meet tomorrow at 9 a.m. to discuss the fiscal year 2021 budget, which starts October 1. There is a 6.45 percent overall decrease from the FY 2020 budget, and the bulk of that difference is due to roughly $14 million which was spent or allocated from county reserves for the following projects:

$4,775,176    toward new courthouse project
$2,426,260    geothermal unit at Santa Rosa County Jail **this line item may be returned to reserves
$1,300,000    front entrance at Central Landfill
$855,122      re-decking Navarre Beach Fishing pier
$700,000      Pea Ridge connector road
$550,000      construction of hangars at Peter Prince airport
$500,000      Navarre Beach berm restoration monitoring
$500,000      Navarre Beach Utilities lift station #6 upgrade
$500,000      ALLOCATION tourist development reserve fund for potential projects
$500,000      ALLOCATION general fund reserve for unforeseen expenses
$213,000      Eglin rapid infiltration basin project (for wastewater discharge)
$150,000      Navarre Beach Utilities well house #2 replacement
$150,000      improvement plan and noise study at Peter Prince airport
$100,000      land fill cell C expansion
$270,000      ALLOCATION for land fill expansion
$100,000      ALLOCATION for 457 plan
$100,000      ALLOCATION for retirements
$80,000       Blackwater Development Tax Rebate (economic development)
$25,000       Sunrise Drive drainage improvement design
$50,000       TKB East Branch channel restoration
$32,000       spriging machine for parks and recreation
$30,000       West Williams Creek channel restoration design
$20,000       Benny Russell Park design
$20,000       Edgewood Drive drainage improvement design
$5,000        shower towers at Navarre Beach


According to Jayne S. Nicholas, director of the county’s Office of Management & Budget, not all of the aforementioned items have been expended.

“I do not think that any of the expenditures (listed) will be reimbursed,” Nicholas said. “The funds that are not expended will fall to the fund balance.”

Other factors influencing the upcoming year’s budget include a projected $4.6 million increase in property tax revenues generated by an increase in the county’s overall property values from $10.4 to 11.2 billion, including increased value from new construction.

The proposed budget will be updated prior to the September 15 budget hearing, and South Santa Rosa News will follow and share any related changes.

Tomorrow’s budget workshop starts at 9 a.m. at the County Administrative Complex, located at 6495 Caroline Street in Milton. Supporting documentation (skip to pg 41 for financial summaries) and video of the meeting will be available for live streaming or playback at the following link: LINK TO COUNTY BUDGET HEARING VIDEO