On the idea of a courthouse by the jail I have a few thoughts I would like to express. To begin with the land is free and close to the jail. Here are some other factors to consider several years ago an inmate got away from the transport deputies and dove into backwater and made it to the bridge but was apprehended by Deputy Jimmy Cotton.
Why is this important?
If the court house is placed in a residential area or near Interstate 10 it will be harder to find him. By placing the courthouse next to the jail it will insure immediate response to an escape by not only the jail but the prison.
Santa Rosa Correctional has always worked hand in hand with the jail. They have an excellent dog team for tracking and with the combination of both response teams, a better chance of capture. This reduces the need for a large transportation team and will aid the Sheriff with a reduction in cost. This will not only reduce the large number of vehicles needed for transportation and the wear and tear of such vehicles, and gas cost, it will also allow for more deputies to assist in corrections in the back part of the jail and lower the cost of hiring more deputies.
In addition if a tunnel or walkway is added to the jail to the new courthouse the inmates can be kept in a more secure environment vs. holding cell in the courthouse. This will alleviate possible assisted escapes from outside forces (ie family and friends).
I sincerely believe that if the voters have a choice of free land in a safe secure area appose to in town, high cost, increase in taxes, they would be more than willing to chose the first option. If the county commissioner and sheriff are sincere about lowering costs and improving Santa Rosa County as a whole then personally I don't see they have any better choice for the courthouse than East Milton.