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Navarre could soon be a new Santa Rosa city
Santa Rosa County may could have a new city on its hands.
At today's county commission meeting, commissioners gave the green light to have a non-binding straw poll on the November ballot that could lead to Navarre being incorporated into its own city.
"For the past couple of years, a group called "Citizens to incorporate Navarre" has gained momentum to turn Navarre into its own city."
Incorporate Navarre is a grassroots movement that's gained enough support from commissioners to let voters decide whether Navarre should become it's own city.
90-percent of Santa Rosa County is unincorporated which include communities like Pace and Navarre.
These areas cannot do things like make its own laws for the city or town, create services like fire and police or tax residents.
On the other hand, Gulf Breeze, Jay and Milton are incorporated areas, and have at least some form of local government and services for its residents.
Laurie Gallup is a big supporter of incorporating Navarre.
"The main advantage I see for incorporation is self-determination, so we can have our own government and have things run the way we'd like to see them run"
A consultant will do a feasibility study on Navarre.
The study will help answer questions people may have about incorporation.
Vicki Helton - Navarre Resident
"I think if we had a local government, I think we'd be able to improve our parks, and offer a lot of opportunities for our youth"
Incorporating Navarre ultimately is in the hands of its residents in the voting booth.
With several months to go before the straw poll, people have mixed feelings.
Jamie Adams - Navarre
"I want it to grow and be its own thing. We'll have more stuff here, and all of our tax money wouldn't be going to Milton to make Milton bigger and better, Navarre should be bigger and better"
"I'm not real sure, I'm still thinking"
Lynn Magill - Navarre
"I kind of like it as an unincorporated area, I've lived here all my life"
"The feasibility study is expected to be complete in July.
If the straw poll shows enough support, legislation for Navarre to become a new city must be passed and signed by the governor.
Then Navarre citizens will get to vote to become a city.
If it doesn't get enough support, the proposal dies.