Florida Department of Transportation

Danielle Freeman

Okaloosa County residents recently got a look at the Florida Department of Transportation’s latest plans for replacement of the Brooks Bridge in Fort Walton Beach. It’s early in the process, but already there are some mixed feelings about what’s being considered.

Major road projects, and their price tags, are forcing the Santa Rosa County Commission to explore new ways to pay for them. One possible solution is raising the county’s gasoline tax.

Commission Chairman Don Salter says the need stems from the loss of road project money from the Florida Department of Transportation's Small County Outreach Program. Once providing more than $7 million, or 75% of funding for eligible projects, the payouts ended when the county’s population grew beyond eligibility standards.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

It’s been chilly in Northwest Florida the past few nights, with temperatures approaching and occasionally dipping below freezing. Fortunately, those cold nights have been clear nights. 

Last year we weren’t so lucky.  Escambia County Emergency Management Chief John Dosh was being a bit understated last year when he said "It's a little challenging because we're not really equipped to handle these icing and snow conditions". Of all the potential emergencies officials plan for in Northwest Florida, an ice storm is pretty close to the bottom of the list. That’s no longer the case.