Santa Rosa Commits $1 Million To Help Fund $3 Million Park In Jay

August 14, 2021


The Santa Rosa County Commission has committed $1 million toward a new $3 million Bray Hendricks Park in Jay.

The town has raised about $1 million so far, including a $300,000 legislative appropriation, $260,000 from the American Rescue Plan and a $50,000 donation from Maverick Natural Resources.

“As we are raising a million dollars, we are asking you guys to match the million dollars,” Mayor Shon Owens told commissioners. “Then we would probably move forward, potentially, a loan for the other million dollars to the town. That’s why we are here; we’ve been working on this for years. I think everyone here has a very clear understanding of where we are headed. We understand the growth in our county, we understand the amount of people that are moving north. We want to be proactive in a situation that we can provide those amenities for the community that’s coming.”

He said over 500 new homes are on the way for northern Santa Rosa County.

The park plans call for a new outdoor fitness center, two t-ball fields, five little league fields (four 200-feet and one 300-feet), two concession stands, three soccer fields, two tennis courts, two basketball courts, one football field, a splash pad, amphitheater, bathrooms and a maintenance building.

Owens said the current Bray-Hendricks Park is over 40 years old and has seen few improvements in decades.

“By the end of this year, we will be ready to be able to go to work,” Owens said. He said they expect to have about $1 million in about six months toward the $3 million price tag. About $1 million will go to civil work such as drainage in the beginning, making it unrealistic to build the park in a phase approach.

A verbal commitment for the million dollars is expected to be ratified at an upcoming meeting of the Santa Rosa County Commission.

It’s expected work could begin after the 2022 Fourth of July Fireworks show in the park.


5 Responses to “Santa Rosa Commits $1 Million To Help Fund $3 Million Park In Jay”

  1. Derek W on August 14th, 2021 6:28 pm

    Diane there is nearly 100 million available covid funds, a park for our kids is an investment for the future.

  2. TJ on August 14th, 2021 1:01 pm

    If you go to other areas of the country, they all have beautiful parks near neighborhoods and I wish we could have a lot more community parks to go walk safely.
    I have been to a park that had a 5K Bike/running/walking path that was beautiful. If you go out of our area parks are everywhere. Every new development should set aside a neighborhood park as part of the planning. and approval.

  3. Liz Everett on August 14th, 2021 9:08 am

    I’m from Jay and I have watched this small rural town get consistently left out for improvements!!! No one says anything about money being spent in other towns in Santa Rosa County! They are way over due and the people of this community deserve this! What you saw was a Mayor that cares about his community!

  4. lmn on August 14th, 2021 8:40 am

    Wish Escambia county would build some beautiful parks.

  5. Diane on August 14th, 2021 1:35 am

    People are enduring real suffering and this Mayor pushes for a new park? How many road resurfacing and drainage problems could these tax dollars have more appropriately been directed towards?

    I watched the meeting and found the Mayor’s demeanor quite disturbing, aggressive and repellent. Try as he might, he couldn’t disguise what appeared to me to be his utter disdain for his own County Commissioner.

    From his own words at the podium, he appeared to admit to what I shall call “colluding” with the other commissioners to pile on to Commissioner Caulkins. I can’t imagine a circumstance which would find me voting for him.

    Do I know, or have I met any of these people? No. I’m just an observer and that is how it appeared to me.