Escambia County Commission

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   After hearing from the public, the Escambia County Commission Thursday took another step towards building a new jail facility.

The Commission voted 4-1 on a motion to build on the L Street site of the damaged facility, while acquiring the nearby McDonald’s shopping center to make it larger to replace the existing County Jail. Commissioner Grover Robinson was the lone dissenter, favoring a different location.

Plans are to build a nearly 1,500 bed detention facility – but just where has been up for debate for nearly the 19 months since the gas explosion that totaled

The Escambia County Commission is instructing staff to move ahead in hiring a design firm to develop plans for a new county jail.

The commissioners’ wish list is for a nearly 1,500 bed facility to replace the Central Booking Facility that was damaged by an explosion in April of last year, along with other aging components of the county jail complex.

The Escambia County Commission met Thursday at the Pensacola Bay Center, for a workshop on how to distribute about $150 million related to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

This was the first opportunity the Commission had to sit down with the RESTORE Act Advisory Committee and the consultant hired to draft the multi-year implementation plan. Commissioner Grover Robinson says they asked the committee to revisit three areas. First up, tourism.

As of Friday, volunteers at Escambia Fire-Rescue’s Ferry Pass station are being joined by career firefighters.

The action’s based on a couple of residential fires on Good Friday. No truck from Ferry Pass, the closest station, responded to either because of a shortage of volunteer firefighters.

“Ferry Pass is one of our busiest stations, said Commissioner Grover Robinson, in whose District-4 the station sits. “In fact, we have about five other stations, if we added them all together, they would make as many calls as they do in Ferry Pass.”

DLR Group

Escambia County is negotiating with an architectural firm, to set the criteria for hiring a design and construction team to build a new county jail.

Talks are underway with Omaha, Nebraska-based DLR Group, as part of plans to replace the Central Booking Facility, which was destroyed by a gas explosion last April. Amy Lovoy, the county’s Financial Officer, says if all goes as planned the contract would be presented to the County Commission at its April 23rd meeting.

After waiting a few weeks, the Escambia County Commission on Thursday is expected to discuss which, if any,  Confederate flag should be displayed at the Pensacola Bay Center.

On a 4-1 vote in December, the Commission approved flying only the U.S. and the Florida state flags at the facility. The Confederate battle flag was taken down, along with those representing England, France and Spain.

Photo via Flickr// J. Stephen Conn

If one Escambia County Commissioner gets his way, the debate and a vote on which Confederate flag to display at the Pensacola Bay Center will cool its heels for the next month or so.

On a 4-1 vote in December, the Commission approved flying only the U.S. and the Florida state flags at the facility. The Confederate battle flag was taken down, along with those representing Britain, France and Spain.

Photo via Flickr//Andrew Magill /

An audit by the Internal Revenue Service of Escambia County’s payroll is resulting in changes for the county’s volunteer firefighters. That could result in fewer volunteers.

Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown says what started out as a routine audit on the 2012 tax year eventually focused on a number of county employees who moonlighted as volunteer firefighters

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan is the main target of a complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics, by former County Commissioner Gene Valentino. 

Valentino declined WUWF’s request to be interviewed, saying he prefers to wait until the Commission on Ethics takes up the case, which he believes will be next month or in February.

Filed in October, the complaint names Morgan in connection with three allegations.

City of Pensacola

  Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward’s second term is underway, having been sworn in last month. As Hayward sat down with WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody, he touches on that victory, downtown renaissance, and the City Council.

DD: Mayor Hayward, you won re-election last month with 65% of the vote. What mandate does that margin of victory carry into your 2nd term?