"The proposal does affect a sustained tenant. We were there before the county."
NAVARRE — After more than a decade at the county-owned office building, the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce may have to start looking for a new home.
Santa Rosa County Commissioners will discuss Monday whether to terminate the chamber's lease agreement in order to make more room for the Tourist Development Office, according to the meeting's backup agenda.
Mike Sandler, chairman of the NBACC board, said he did not know about the possible termination until the meeting's agenda was released to the public last Thursday.
"We have a two-year lease with an option for a third and we're entering into our second year of the lease," Sandler said.
The county leases three office spaces to the chamber totaling in 415 square feet for $622.50 a month. According to the lease agreement signed in March 2016, the lease may be terminated by either party with a written 90-day notice.
NBACC has been in existence for 42 years and located at the Navarre Park since 1993. Prior to that, it was inside the Navarre Community Center (now the Navarre Area Board of Realtors office).
When the chamber moved to the park, it was in a relocatable building, Sandler said. After Hurricane Ivan destroyed the building in 2004, the chamber was going to file an insurance claim and take out a loan to rebuild, but chose to cancel the claim so the county could collect FEMA money to build a new facility, which became the Navarre visitor's center as well as the chamber office.
Around that time, Sandler said the chamber took on many of the responsibilities of the tourism office.
"The chamber was the TDC," he said. "Before the county took them over, the chamber managed all of the contracts. I would hope the county would take that into consideration. Some of the commissioners may not be familiar with that history."
The TDO's tentative 2018 fiscal year budget includes an additional full-time employee and an additional part-time employee. The TDO also currently leases a storage space to house promotional materials and equipment for $191 a month. The materials could be stored at the visitor's center, according to the agenda item.
If the lease is terminated, Sandler said the board will have to start looking for new office space. It's also looking for a new CEO/President since Judy Morehead announced her resignation in June. Navarre also has a second chamber, the Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce, which started in 2016.
Sandler said he understood the TDO's position, but hopes commissioners will not vote to move the agenda item.
"The proposal does affect a sustained tenant," he said. "We were there before the county."