Restrooms could be added to Navarre Fishing Pier

Posted on June 6, 2016 by Louis Cooper

Anglers on the Navarre Beach Pier could one day be able to use restroom facilities without having to make the 1,545 foot trek back to the pier store.

On Monday, the Santa Rosa County Commission gave preliminary approval to an amended agreement governing the operation of the Navarre Beach Pier, and they also decided to revisit the possibility of adding restrooms closer to the end of the facility.

“There are other piers that have facilities out there for people to pee,” Navarre resident Earl Dean said. “I think it is wrong for persons, such as myself, with (health) problems, having to go to the bathroom and can’t make it back 1,000 feet.

“Last Friday or Thursday, a man got up against a garbage can and he peed. He couldn’t make it back. I thought it was OK because the county doesn’t provide facilities for someone to use while they are out there.”

While there are restrooms at the base of the pier, there are none along the 1,545 foot-length of the facility. Commissioners seemed agreeable to looking for a solution to the restroom concern.

“I think it’s maybe time that we do look at some sort of facilities, whether it’s port-o-potties or something out there,” Commissioner Bob Cole said. “We have the bragging rights to say we have the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico. … I know there’s been push back in the past, but maybe it’s time to look at it again.’

Commissioner Lane Lynchard agreed. He suggested the county consider what he called a “high-dollar” port-o-pottie like one used at the Panama City pier. That facility uses an air-conditioned portable unit that can be placed along the pier and retrieved for waste disposal, cleaning and storage during storms.

“We’ve talked about restrooms either at the middle or the end of the pier before, and there have always had issues raised with permitting that,” Lynchard said. “I’d like to see us explore that (Panama City pier) option.”

Commissioner Rob Williamson, whose district includes the pier, said he would like to see specs around potential new restroom facilities added to the next contract to operate the pier, which is expected to be requested later this year.

County Administrator Tony Gomillion said, “We’ll look at the options and limitations, obviously, from a space standpoint. We’ll try to bring back some options.”

The amended agreement commissioners preliminarily approved on Monday regulates the relationship between the current contractor, Coastal Concessions, and the county. Among the changes to the agreement:

  • Coastal Concessions will pay the county 5 percent of gross revenues from the pier store and restaurant. Under the original agreement, 3.1 percent of the gross revenues were due to the county.
  • All admission fees are revenue of the county. All cash receipts must be kept in a locked bank bag and taken to the county’s Navarre Beach Office the next business day.
  • Coastal Concessions will pay all water and sewer costs associated with the store, restaurant and restrooms, and the electrical costs associated with the store and restaurant. The County will pay electrical costs related to the pier and restrooms.
  • The county will provide all required paper products, trash bags and cleaning supplies.

The commission will give final consideration to the amendments at their regular meeting on Thursday, set for 9 a.m. at the Santa Rosa County Administrative Office Complex, located at 6495 U.S. 90, Milton (behind McDonald’s).

The contract with Coastal Concessions went into effect Jan. 1, 2014. and ends Jan. 1, 2017. The county anticipates seeking new proposals for the next contract this fall.

“This is in no way an extension of the current contract.” Cole pointed out. “We’ll still be considering going out for bid at the end of the current contract period.”

In other business, commissioners gave preliminary approval to:

  • Allowing county staff to develop a professional services agreement with Genesis Engineering for improvements at Navarre Park to include an upgrade of playground and basketball equipment, a handicapped-accessible kayak launch, landscaping and other services, to be covered by a $50,000 state grant.
  • Renting a 25 ton articulated off road dump truck from Beard Equipment for three months for $8,100 per month to be used at the Central Landfill.