ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — About 60 people showed up Thursday night to a meeting organized by the group, “Stop Perdido City.”
“It seems like nobody has all the answers right now,” Jon-Michael Jones said. “We need answers.”
Jones created the opposition group and is leading the effort to stop municipal incorporation in the Perdido area. He organized Thursday night’s meeting at Jim Bailey Middle School to inform residents about what’s known about the proposal and the questions they still have.
“Where’s the money coming from?” Jones asked. “What are we doing with $2.6 million in administrative staff, and what’s actually the community benefit, if any.”
A group called “We Are Perdido” funded a feasibility study this year as they looked into the prospect of creating a new city near the Alabama-Florida state line.
Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh represents this area. He said he remains neutral on the topic, but he brought up questions Thursday morning at the commission’s regular meeting.
“If they’re not going to have their own fire service, not going to have their own schools,” Bergosh said. “I believe they’re going to be using our code in zoning so you really have to ask yourself do you want another layer of government over the top, which you will pay extra for or are there things the county’s doing that maybe we can do better.”
A bill could go in front of the Florida legislature early next year. If it’s approved, Perdido Key residents will have the final say. The earliest it would be on the ballot is November 2024.