NAVARRE — One thing was made clear at Monday's Santa Rosa County Commissioner's meeting: Residents like the proposed master plan to improve Navarre Park.

They just don't know how to pay for it.

The meeting started with public comments, most of which were in support of the $6.3 million plan which includes upgrades on infrastructure and stormwater runoff.

"It's a safety issue. I don't think there's an option to do nothing," said Mark Miller, president of the Navarre Area Board of Realtors. "I see both local and out of town visitors there on a daily basis ... it's the gateway to Navarre Beach."

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According to county documents, potential funding for the first phase of the plan — estimated to cost $3.6 million — was broken down as follows: $600,000 from District 4 recreation funds, $500,000 from Tourist Development Council reserves, $215,000 reassignment of money for a future Navarre Community Center fund, $200,000 from District 4 local option sales tax (LOST) recreation funds, $200,000 from Multiyear Implementation Plan RESTORE funds and $20,000 from ADA compliance funding.

The proposed funding would create $1.735 million, well short of the $3.6 million cost for the first phase. The remaining $1.865 million would be borrowed and included with refinancing the loan of the current visitor information center at Navarre Park, according to the documents. This would give the county a new loan of approximately $2.5 million and would extend the current loan by six years, according to the county.

According to Florida statute, spending tourist development tax funds for the park is an allowable use.

District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson said he was ready to vote on funding of the initial phase of the park plan. But fellow commissioners still had a lot of questions.

Commissioner Bob Cole said he believes the plan should be vetted by the Tourist Development Office and also suggested private and corporate sponsorship to help fund the park. Some of the commissioners admitted to having a bit of "sticker shock" at the $6.3 million price tag.

"We had absolutely no idea (the master plan) would come back with a 6-and-a-half million dollar plan," said Commissioner Lane Lynchard.

Commissioner Sam Parker said didn't want to be "forced into making a vote," but overall supports the park plan.

Williamson pointed out that the recreation dollars would not be able to fully fund the park upgrades, and that the proposed improvements go beyond new playground equipment.

"It's a big project and a lot to cover," he said. "I don't know how much more widespread support we can get ... you can't support the project and not be in support of recommended funding."

After a two-hour discussion, commissioners made no action. Williamson said it wasn't the result he wanted, but he wasn't deterred.

"I'll come back and ask a fourth time," he said. "I know it's a big number with a lot of moving parts. As long as I'm on the board, I'll continue to bring big, audacious ideas."