The county gets all of that for a $1 annual lease for 40 years and the clearing of 15 acres in Santa Rosa County Industrial Park East.

MILTON — Santa Rosa County will acquire new youth sports fields and more jobs in a deal with Pensacola State College.

The county gets all of that for a $1 annual lease for 40 years and the clearing of 15 acres in Santa Rosa County Industrial Park East.

PSC plans to put truck driving, diesel mechanics and lineman training programs on the site located about one mile east of State Road 87 and two miles north of Interstate 10.

County commissioners approved the deal at their meeting Thursday.

Commissioner Lane Lynchard praised Santa Rosa County Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree for reaching the agreement with the college.

“If you go to Tiger Point Park on any day of the week, you know it is pretty much standing room only on any field we have there,” Lynchard said. “This is a great way for the county and Pensacola State College to work together to accomplish a couple of goals.”

Ogletree pointed out that truck drivers are in high demand in the county and across the country, with 51,000 drivers needed in the field that pays as much as $80,000 a year, according to the American Trucking Associations.

“A truck driving school is a need we have as we continue to grow our workforce,” he said.

PSC President Charles Meadows said it would start building the facilities it needs as soon as the site is cleared. In the meantime, it will use Broxson Field.

“This is a win-win not just for the county and PSC, but for the community in a lot of different ways,” Meadows said.

The county plans to put the fields for youth sports on two parcels totaling about 22.4 acres on the PSC campus south of U.S. Highway 98 and north of Woodlawn Beach Middle School.

Soundside Drive resident Sandy Dimick opposed the project because of the destruction of trees and wetlands at the south end location. She said it will create flooding and drainage issues, and asked for the sports fields to go somewhere else.

“It’s ironic this is in the quality of life category,” Dimick told commissioners. “It will not improve quality of life.”

However, Lynchard said no wetlands would be impacted and that retention ponds and drainage will be added. He also said the county can afford the $1 lease per year but not the purchase of other high-priced property near the coast.

“This field space is vitally needed by our kids in the south end that we would otherwise not be able to do,” Lynchard said.