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HELP ASAP - KEEP BUTTERFLY HOUSE IN NAVARRE PARK, FL

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This is another IMPORTANT community issue that needs your ATTENTION ASAP.  Below is a copy/paste from the Commissioner’s Agenda for the meeting being held Monday, 11/5 at 9 am in Milton at 6495 Caroline St., Milton, FL.  The commissioners are essentially trying to take back their commitment to have the Butterfly House (BH) in the new Navarre Park which was made planned last October.  They are trying to force the issue to move the BH to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) property on Hwy 87.  The Butterfly House wants to stay in Navarre Park and has had little consideration in these decisions.  First they were not even consulted when a planner made up the expensive plans for Navarre Park.  Didn’t ask them what they needed or wanted.  Planned it way too expensive, so now instead of reducing price and leaving them there, they want to move the BH to the ECWR property.  Essentially taking away the money for the BH and giving it to ECWR.  The BH house has/is presenting a well documented business plan.  Where is the business plan for ECWR???  ECWR does not have enough money to build right now, even with the Impact 100 grant they recently received. So the only way they can build is to get the BH money, share the education building and they say THEY will build a vivarium and THEY will hire staff for it!  This is not right.  The refuge and county are taking advantage of the BH. And in the end I fear for the BH existence.  They have been the cornerstone of Navarre for 21 years and are the gateway to the ecological part of the park and beach, leading to the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station and the Navarre Beach Turtle Rescue.  The butterflies know exactly where the BH house is for their migration.

 So, PLEASE sign this petition in favor of keeping the Butterfly House in Navarre Park.  We only have a few days. Also, Write the commissioners NOW!  Don’t have to say a lot.  Voice your opinion.  Tell them it’s important to leave the BH in Navarre Park!.  It’s one of the first things tourists see when they come here.  It’s been wonderful education for years.  Leave it there. Don’t fix it if it’s not broken.  The BH can get along by itself very well.  Please WRITE, or call (850-983-1877) and go to the meeting and speak.  Unfortunately, I will be out of town next week and cannot go and speak.  I would really like several people there to speak on behalf of the BH.  Please help.  But PLEASE sign this petition also.  Thanks.

Board of County Commissioners Agenda Item

Meeting Date: November 5, 2018

Attachments: Department: County Administration Staff: Dan Schebler, County Administrator

1.       PBH business plan october 2018

2.       Item: Butterfly House ACTION NEEDED Discussion and approval of location for a Butterfly House in Santa Rosa County. SUMMARY/BACKGROUND The Board approved the Navarre Park Master Plan, funding the design and construction plans for the Park and also construction of Phase 1 (A&B) to include a Butterfly House Learning Center, Vivarium and fieldhouse at the October 12, 2017 meeting. Due to the significant capital investment (~$1M), the Board directed staff to work with the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) to develop a memorandum of agreement that would govern the relationship and responsibilities of the county and PBH. Several meetings were held with representatives from PBH to collect information (profit and loss statements, balance sheet, financial policies, etc.) and to discuss operations, maintenance and sustainment of the proposed facility. Any design or construction plans of the butterfly house and vivarium were put on hold pending these discussions and development of a draft MOA. Following a discussion by the Board at the May 21st Committee meeting and subsequent staff meetings the potential to relocate the PBH to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge facility on 87S became an option so several more meetings were held with representatives of PBH and ECWR to determine the viability and what agreements and funding would be needed.

3.       The PBH Board met on September 28th and due to a number of issues unanimously voted against going to ECWR. Several subsequent meetings with staff and PBH representatives and PBH representatives and ECWR personnel, it was determined that colocation of the PBH at ECWR was not an option. The final construction plans for Navarre Park are expected by the end of the year followed by bidding with Phase 1 construction to be started after the first of the year. Staff recommends that the issue of location for a butterfly house/vivarium be determined to keep the important improvements.

4.        There are two options to maintain a butterfly house in Santa Rosa County: - PBH would like to remain in Navarre Park. The current identified requirement from the PBH Executive Board is a 2000 sq. ft. Learning Center and a 2200 sq. ft. Vivarium (15 feet high) which includes greenhouse Board of County Commissioners Agenda Item space (400 sq. ft.). Based on current construction cost estimates this would be $930K; essentially the same construction cost in the park master plan. In support of this request the PBH provided the attached business plan October 25th. - ECWR has proposed a shared education center and is willing to add a vivarium to their current site plan in order to have a butterfly house operational in March 2019. Estimated costs to fund this proposal are $550K. ECWR would hire additional staff to support the vivarium and associated programming/education center.

5.        RECOMMENDATION Locate a butterfly house at ECWR to realize significant cost savings and the opportunity to have a butterfly house open next spring. FISCAL IMPACTS As outlined in the summary/.background. LEGAL NOTE Legal has reviewed. NEXT STEPS As directed by the Board.



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