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Santa Rosa gets $1.7 million from Clerk Donald Spencer

UF/IFAS Extension

Christmas has come early to Santa Rosa County residents.

The county’s Clerk of Court Donald C. Spencer on Tuesday returned $1,746,009.73 to the county to be used specifically to address infrastructure and flooding, two issues that citizens demand be fixed.

The excess money is from fees filed in Spencer’s office. The amount reflects the growth in the county, he explained. Based on the 2020 census, Santa Rosa has gained 35,000 residents since 2010. That growth continued in 2021 and shows no signs of slowing.

“Over the past several years … we continue to hear the need for infrastructure and for flooding (solutions),” he said.

However, Spencer said the amount should be used for “boots on the ground and shovels in dirt … and not for studies.”

Donald Spencer
Santa Rosa County

District 3 Commissioner James Calkins applauded Spencer’s move: “This is exactly what the citizens want and I fully support it.”

For several meetings, residents have beseeched the commissioners to resolve traffic congestion on U.S. 98 and U.S. 90, and chronic flooding throughout the county. Recently, commissioner have acted to look at the problems.

Later in the meeting, commissioners approved payment to the Mott MacDonald engineering and consulting firm for $199,569.04 for data collection, a corridor traffic study and schematic design for the intersection of Woodbine Road and U.S. 90, one of the most congested traffic areas in the central part of the county.

In a second move, commissioners also voted unanimously to pay Mott MacDonald $249,875.16 for data collection and schematic design for the “Five Points Area” in Pace.

Tom Ninestine is the managing editor at WUWF. He began August 1, 2019. Tom is a native of Geneva, New York, and a 1983 graduate of King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he studied journalism and political science. During a 29-year career in newspapers he worked for the Finger Lakes Times in his hometown; The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pennsylvania; and the Pensacola News Journal from 1998-2016.