PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 4:00 p.m.
Administrative Complex Board Meeting Room
The January meeting of the Santa Rosa County Parks and Recreation Committee was held at the Administrative Complex beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26, 2011. The following members were present representing the sports associations and host organizations: Justin Labrato, Tiger Point Recreational Park; Charles Hoard, East Milton Recreational Park; Bob Swiebel, Sound Retreat HOA; Ken Garner, Navarre Press; Kate Wilkes, Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council; and Ralph Agnew and Tom Vatter, Navarre Chamber. Larry Dixon, Navarre Youth Sports Association, Navarre Sports Complex/Navarre Football-Soccer Park/Holley Ball Field arrived after the meeting concluded.
Absent were representatives from Santa Rosa Sportsplex/PARA, Chumuckla Park, Santa Rosa Soccer/Horse Park, Fidelis Community Center and Park, Benny Russell Park, and Swenson Park.
Also present was the Administrative Services/Parks Operations Manager, Tammy Simmons, County Engineer, Roger Blaylock, and Grants/Projects Coordinator
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m.
The Administrative Services Manager welcomed all.
Harris presented information to the committee on the 2010/2011 Land and Water Conservation (LWCF) grant that the county is pursuing for the Navarre Beach Park Sound Side Improvements. (Entire presentation in file as exhibit 1). Harris stated the location of Navarre Beach Park and described the project area. Harris explained to the committee the existing facilities and the proposed improvements. Harris provided the proposed layout, the estimated project costs, the project funding and a proposed time-line should the grant be awarded to Santa Rosa County. Upon completion of the presentation Harris requested input from the committee and all present.
• Swiebel questioned if the current lessee for the restaurant/marina lease could gain benefit from this project. Swiebel further stated he is extremely impressed with the Marine Teacher that teaches at Navarre Beach Park for the local school system.
• Garner questioned if the restaurant/marina lease has to pay lease fees and property tax? Garner questioned if the lessee of the restaurant/marina lease would consider swapping the lease for another piece of land on Navarre Beach.
• Harris questioned if the lessee of the restaurant/marina lease would consider selling the lease back to the county.
• Blaylock stated the restaurant/marina lease was established in 1968 and it is a valid lease. Blaylock explained that the improvements that the county is considering for this grant were previously planned by the State. In 1999 Santa Rosa County gave the State of Florida gulf front land at the east end of Navarre Beach in exchange for the State’s promised construction and maintenance of a state park with several amenities. Shortly after the park was constructed hurricane Ivan struck with heavy damage to the park. A year later hurricane Dennis struck the area causing more damage. Rather than rebuild and continue to manage the park the state and Santa Rosa County reached an agreement that the State would rebuild the existing amenities and turn the park back over to the county. The state spent 1.5 million to rebuild the park to its current state. Blaylock deferred the question on lease fees and property taxes to the County Property Appraiser. Blaylock stated there have been no official discussions with the lessee of the restaurant/marina lease to swap property. Blaylock stated if the lessee of the restaurant/marina lease would consider selling the lease back to the county, that the county does not have the resources to afford the lease.
• Vatter stated that the west beach access boardwalk to the Mom’s beach will be most beneficial. Vatter further questioned if one of the pavilions could be utilized as a working stage and if the county would consider adding electrical outlets and lighting to the adjacent parking lot so that it could be utilized for music festivals and such.
• Garner questioned if the county was considering any nature walks?
• Blaylock stated to get further away from the Mom’s beach, the west canoe launch could be moved east of the west beach access boardwalk; this move will also benefit the Marine program. Blaylock referred to the proposed layout and stated on the east of the layout there is a proposed nature boardwalk considered for future improvements. Blaylock stated that the proposed layout was prepared by the Genesis Group for the State.
• Garner questioned if the county was working with the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary committee on the near shore reefs?
• Blaylock stated the committee has permits for the reefs; they are going to be offshore and our plans will not conflict with the reefs.
• Garner questioned if the proposed layout could be placed on the county website?
• Harris stated she can have the layout added to our current website http://www.santarosa.fl.gov/grants/lwcfsurvey.html which currently has a survey for citizens to respond to on this project.
• Vatter stated that he feels that this is a wonderful project.
Simmons stated the next regular scheduled meeting will be February 23, 2011.
The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.