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Santa Rosa County's new courthouse location chosen

SANTA ROSA COUNTY  --  Santa Rosa County commissioners have settled on a location for a new courthouse.
But it's still just the beginning of the process.

The 22 acre site on Highway 90 is currently owned by Coldwell Banker.

The price still has to be worked out.
That's just the first step to a new building.

This is the site Santa Rosa County Commissioners are looking at to build a new courthouse.

It's off Highway 90 between Pace and Milton.

For years the future of Santa Rosa County's courthouse has been in question...

When will it be replaced?
Frederick Ates - Santa Rosa Co. 2007
"If you've been in it recently or had business in there, there's a lot of areas that are pretty outdated."

Where will a new one go?
Catherine Stearn - Santa Rosa Co. 2007
"They need something with parking because the location is absolutely ridiculous."

And how much will it cost.
Now, most of those questions are being answered.
County commissioners want to buy this 22 acre site across the street from Chantilly Plaza.

Harold Noonan - Vapor Trails Inc.
"I think the traffic will be a good thing because that means more exposure for my business and everybody in the area."

Harold Noonan believes moving the courthouse will do wonders for his business.
The owner of Southern Seafood also has high hopes.

Shawna Price - Southern Seafood Market
"It would be great, Santa Rosa County needs this, especially this part of Santa Rosa County, they really need to move the courthouse over here."

The County still has to negotiate a sales contract for the property and the deal is contingent on a local option sales tax passing in the fall so if the sales tax fails on the ballot no courthouse.
"I'm not opposed to them using tax money to build a new facility, as long as long as they build it for the future, not for today and not for yesterday."

Kavontae Smalls
"There is still a long way to go before construction can start.
At the next county commission meeting commissioners are expected to go over a sale contract for this piece of property.
Commissioner Jim Melvin voted against the site saying Highway 90 is already busy and the courthouse will create even more congestion.