MILTON — Santa Rosa commissioners may vote Thursday on land clearing and promotional signage for the future courthouse site at Avalon Boulevard and Mulat Road. Monday, commissioners discussed these issues.
County staff considered two options for clearing: either using a rotary mower, called a bush hog, to clear 1-inch or smaller trees, or a tree mulcher called a gyro trac. This second option would be for trees at most 4 inches in diameter.
The county administrator could approve a bush hog service, but a gyro trac service would reach $20,000, according to Assistant Administrator Dan Schebler, so it would need board approval.
Commissioners Bob Cole and Don Salter favored the bush hog while Commissioner Sam Parker favored the gyro trac. The gyro trac would offer drivers a clearer view of the site, Parker said.
While he never supported buying the $850,000 parcel, Williamson supports some kind of site clearing. It will need to happen in the future anyway, he said.
As for the signs, commissioners discussed possibly seeking a variance request for signs that exceed the land development code in order to be visible to more people.
Williamson said he is not in favor of doing something with which the county does not have to comply. However, Parker said people regularly ask for variance requests.
The timeline is Williamson’s current concern with the project. He wants to see a plan, he said, showing where the county is, where it will be in six months, funding, a building footprint, and future services.
"All of those things to me," he said, "are much more relevant versus a partial clearing and putting signs up. I’m hopeful we’ll have movement on that at some point soon."
Parker and Cole agreed with Williamson on producing a timeline. If staff isn’t already working on one, Parker said he supports directing staff to do so as well as Attorney Roy Andrews drafting ballot language for the sales tax referendum to fund the courthouse.