MILTON — Santa Rosa County commissioners approved a permit fees increase and renovations to Floridatown Park.

The permit fee increases that commissioners approved on Thursday's regular meeting will be enough to cover the hiring of five additional permit inspectors and a permit tech. The increased fees have a potential revenue boost of $265,000 for the next fiscal year according to Rhonda Royal, the county's building official.

Royal said the approval would allow starting salaries for a minimum qualified candidate to go from $13.54 to $15.85. According to the county, the proposed salary increases put Santa Rosa County closer to what Escambia and Okaloosa Counties pay their permit inspectors but do not surpass them. Escambia County has proposed an increase from $14.54 to $16.00 and Okaloosa leads the area paying their inspectors $16.25 according to Royal.

Royal gave an example of the increase permit fees for a 2,500-square-foot, single-family home. Current fees are $1,015.94. The proposed fee increase would be $1,104.91, an increase of $88.97.

During Royal's presentation on Monday, she said the hiring of additional permit inspectors would decrease the turn-around time of current inspections and improve customer service.

Commissioners also approved Floridatown Park improvements and restroom renovations for $325,572. The park projects funding is through a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program grant, local option sales taxes and District 1 recreational fund reserves.

According to the county, improvements include the playground, pavilion, minor repairs to the existing pier, two half-basketball courts and renovation to the bathrooms. New items for the park are a walking path, historical signage and ADA accessibility improvements.