MILTON — The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners, at a Feb. 13 budget meeting, approved the construction of the new courthouse without using funds from the half-cent sales tax. 

"The BOCC established a county reserve fund policy amount of $20 million," County Assistant Administrator Dan Schebler said. "This decision made it possible for us to allocate some unassigned general reserve funds for (a request for quotation) for the design-build of a new courthouse and finance the remaining costs."

“Staff worked diligently for several months to look at the budget and projected budgets, and came to the commission confident to move forward doing the concept of the design build,” Commissioner Bob Cole said. 

The commissioners approved staff to put together a proposal to go out to the public and local contractors as a design build concept, according to Cole. 

The county commissioners are using an estimated $35 million for construction and they believe they can use the county budget to acquire those funds without using money collected from the sales tax. 

The county's next step is obtaining firm numbers. 

“We feel confident with the way we have put the budget together to go ahead and move forward,” Cole said.