Courthouse could stay in Milton

Posted on October 20, 2015 by Romi White/Deborah Nelson

It could be a “game changer.”

Despite expressing opposition to building a new county courthouse at the site of the existing facility during Monday’s commission meeting, Santa Rosa County District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson has said he’s reconsidering.

And Williamson could be the deciding vote in the matter. Of the five-member board,  two commissioners have publicly stated support for the site, and two others opposed it.

“I think it could be one of those unique opportunities in life and politics when everybody gets what they want,” Williamson told South Santa Rosa News this afternoon, explaining a new footprint design coupled with certain land acquisitions on nearby Pine Street could present a “win/win.”

Williamson said he thinks those in opposition to the site may also reconsider once they are apprised of the details.

The commission plans to discuss the matter further in November.

Additionally, Williamson also suggested utilizing a municipal services taxing unit or MSTU to fund the project instead of a third attempt to get voters to support a temporary penny sales tax.

“Let’s use (an MSTU) as the funding source to bond a courthouse, lets select a site, let’s select a builder and let’s build a courthouse and move on.  We don’t have to have it tied to a referendum.

More details will be posted shortly.