Santa Rosa County's decision to withhold a permit is going to cost taxpayers (you) MILLIONS. It could happen again. It’s not too late to stop the damage
The PNJ is reporting that a 8-year legal drama about a permit to operate between the Santa Rosa County and a company that wanted to put a construction and demolition dump site has ended with the company winning a case in appeals court.
The Company, which wants to put a dump site on top of a drinking water aquifer (admittedly, not a tantalizing sell for politicians to approve) was eventually granted a permit and has now (successfully) sued The County for lost earnings they would have gotten during the four years The County Government didn’t give them a permit.
What this means for people in ALL of Santa Rosa County:
Doesn’t matter if you live in Gulf Breeze, Milton or Jay – Because of the decisions of The County YOU are now on the hook for millions of dollars in back payment to a private company, because The County did not give them the permit they were entitled to under the (admittedly flawed) laws on the books.
That means less money for road widening, parks, playgrounds and other things to make our home a little bit better than it already is.
This can happen again. Right now – half of The County is forced to use Waste Pro as their provider. But even though they don’t get a choice – everyone will be forced to pay for the mistakes of The County, not just the people in the south end of The County.
What it means for our customers who are waiting for us to return to the South End:
This is good news! It means that The County needs to think long and hard about what just happened the last time The County rejected a permit without justification.
There are monetary consequences for them for breaking the rules. And that means there are monetary consequences for the rest of us, too.
What’s the Solution?
Today, it is this landfill.
The County didn’t adequately protect the aquifer with zoning regulations and were forced to issue a permit. They didn’t issue the permit in time, which means that you are now on the hook for a lot of money.
Tomorrow, it could be Adams Sanitation’s turn to get justice.
But that’s not as great a win as it would seem for us. Were on the hook right now for costs – this possible refund of money would be great for our bottom line, but not great for the neighbors we serve.
And what about the next group that gets improperly denied? That’ll cost everyone too.
Instead of the things we need, we will be paying for the entirely preventable mistakes of The County.
Good governance: Commissioners, hard-earned tax dollars from your conservative voters are counting on it.