Boggy Update May 7, 2024

Paul and Christopher talk about the Local News for the Mid Bay area this week so you know what's up.

It’s Christopher Saul. That’s Paul Sjoberg This is the Boggy update and we’re coming not live because I still haven’t been able to figure out the live thing yet. The live did me dirty last week. Sorry about that in the audio quality control issue situation. But yeah, now we’re now we’re in the studio as a way to fix that. And we’re going to see if this this dad gum studio thing works. I mean, all the cool kids are doing it. Yeah. So of course we’re here to tell you about all the latest news and updates.

that are going on here in the wild world of places in between John Sims Parkway and 293 and then Eglund’s West Gate on the other side. Quick overview of the stories that we’re going to talk about this week. They’ve kind of been breaking over the weekend and the last half of last week. The number one thing that I thought was really cool, Blue Water Elementary School teacher found a book that she wrote in fifth grade and got it published. Really fun story. It was a happy story for once for me. So I was really excited about that.

Um, Niceville Phil gives a total number of speeders that they were able to give tickets to in their three day operation. They did the last part of last month. And then unfortunately we have to talk about, um, the death of David Goetsch Dr. David Goetsch was really kind of a pillar in this community for a long time. A local economist, uh, wrote more than 70 books. Um, so prolific writer, a really smart guy and really kind guy. So, uh, hoping that I can do him a little bit of justice in that. Then we’ll go over to our big topic.

Then talk about what’s coming up this week and then of course our buy and our sell so before we get to all that Paul How you doing man? I’m doing pretty well. I’m excited to be here in the studio and you know, yes last week the audio Pretty much did your boy dirty? Sounded like I was at point seven five speed and maybe slurring some speech like I had knocked a few cocktails back before our podcast Have you seen the the Jimmy Kimmel skits where he talks where he like pulls a clip in and he says like drunk whoever doing this? Yeah

I’m not saying you sounded like that, but I’m not not saying it. You sound like that. My kids thought it was hilarious. And then my boy, my boy Sean Foster over at Mid -South Bank is a good friend of mine. Uh, laid into me pretty good on Friday with jokes. So, but I can survive. I got thick skin. We’re back this week. Well, the nice thing is that Paul Sjoberg puts the stud in studio. Yeah, thank you. Now I do what I can. Uh, soft jokes available for free on this podcast at all times.

So we’ll go ahead and get started first story Blue Water Elementary School teacher named Stephanie Lafitte brought a Kind of a blast from her own past from her fifth grade past a book about an imaginary dog that a girl gets Because she couldn’t afford to buy the dog. So she buys the leash and takes it around Just kind of a fun little story that she wrote in fifth grade when she was 11 and I think that’s pretty advanced Yeah, I thought it was a very cool story

It had some ups and downs. It was like, I, you know, she found it. She wanted to throw it away. She didn’t think anything of value was in there and her family, um, really pushed her to do it. And then I guess her dad passed away. Um, and then there’s like a couple of really cool things about, uh, you know, working in her students into the book. And, um, so I, yeah, I think it’s awesome. I mean, for, for someone to, to be able to kind of, uh,

share their creativity like that and bring in the community at the same time is pretty amazing. I thought it was pretty cool too. And for another teacher or a teacher to be able to write a book and put it out there and have all this community support that she’s had from all the parents and the other teachers. She’s had like several community readings at her school. Other teachers have been like, you need to come in and read this book to my kids. And it’s a fun story. You know, we don’t, we don’t get too many fun stories in the world nowadays. Actually, I don’t know how true that is, but.

This is a cute and fun story that I really enjoyed writing about. It just kind of made my whole week just to be able to sit down in the tiny chairs that the 11 year old sit in as I’m interviewing somebody is really nice, kind of wraps all together. Maybe we should order a few of them and we can donate them to the local libraries. I’m down. I think we should do that. We should do that. All right. Number two, Niceville gives a total number of speeders nabbed in their traffic operation. And this was a…

The operation that took place between April 24th and 26th Operation save the date that was the name of the operation They told us it was coming at the nice Phil City Council meeting on like April that night I think we wrote a story about it and everybody not everybody many people were still surprised That took place. They nabbed a fair number of people they got I believe and I’m gonna look back at the story to get the exact number right Says

Where is it? Oh, hey, pop up. These guys with these pop ups, man. Hey, you know what? I’m doing what I can. I believe it was in the sixties. 67 or 77 citations were issues with 67 related to speeding. So they got quite a number of people considering they usually get about 150 people a month speeding. So I guess my only request is that they come over here on Deer Moss Loop and do another speed enforcement operation. I don’t know if they’d be up for that, but I’d be.

I’d be really appreciative. I mean, I think it was an interesting idea and something, uh, something cool that the city did to kind of, um, you know, curb the speeding down the major roads. And you could definitely tell, you know, during that time period that the cops were out, they were just everywhere. Um, but I think it’s like, uh, a little bit of like, you know, how long is it going to last? Is that, is that something that’s sustainable? Is the community going to remember it and, and slow down more? Um,

I don’t know, I think it’ll be interesting in the future to see how the numbers go. Yeah, I was, you had asked, we had talked about this maybe at our Tuesday breakfast or something like that about whether or not this is actually in a keep. And so I thought that was a good point because people have short memories and I got other stuff going on in their lives. And so I found a report. I can’t remember who wrote the thing, but basically it said like, this is something that they use that’s been proven.

to do some reduction. So it’s not going to change everybody’s habits overnights, but it looks like, you know, a couple of percentage points of less speeding over a long period of time. So I’m hopeful. Um, but I, I just really wish everybody would stop and knock it off. Well, there’s, you know, there’s a lot of jurisdictions in this area too. Like you could, you could see it in some of the comments to the story where they’re like, Oh, they should do this road next or that road next. But you know, people forget that we’ve got.

three, four jurisdictions in the area. Um, and depending on what road it is, it might be Ocaloosa County’s responsibility to get the speeders or it might even be Florida highway patrol. Um, so, you know, they can’t do it on every road that you want them to. But I think it was good for the city of Nice. Excellent. Excellent time for me to plug the fact that everybody should merge the cities, um, and, uh, have one jurisdiction because it would be cheaper and, uh, probably more efficient. Uh, just throwing that out there.

You have your own agenda. I am a reporter with an agenda and that agenda is to to lower the cost of doing business Thank you Third thing kind of a sad thing Dr. David David getch passed away last week on May the 2nd If you if you don’t know him, dr. Goetsch was a prolific writer Was a elder at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Valparaiso and all around of

really great guy who’s the vice president of Northwest Florida State for a long time until he retired and still taught classes and then continued to write books as well. Wasn’t he at the college for like 30 years or something? 36 is the number I could find but he’s a guy he’s a very much a bootstraps guy. Graduated from high school, was a very good athlete, played baseball at Pensacola Junior College, went to Vietnam as a Marine and then

got transferred over to the White House sentry detail, which are those guys that every time you see the president walking out there right there. Yep. Got, I think, five, I think was the ultimate number of master’s degrees he ended up getting. Got a doctorate as well. Wrote with Colonel Oliver North and is just had an amazing, oh, I forgot to talk about the local impacts. Worked on the Florida Defense Task Force, which is basically the group that organizes to make sure that we don’t lose any mission here.

And when 66, 68 cents out of every dollar that you make is from the military mission, that’s kind of important. And then was the chamber guy for the longest time. So he will definitely be missed. His presence is going to be missed and his influence, the way that stuff got done around him. So he was also a pretty good guy to me personally. So I will miss him. And I hope that, you know, he

many people recognize how wonderful that guy was. Yeah, the comments were pretty good on the on not only your story, but also on social media about how how a keystone person he was in the community. And I personally did not know him, but I did have the opportunity a couple of weeks ago, I was flying through Washington, D .C. and there was an honor flight that came through. And if you’re familiar or not familiar with honor flights, they bring people from around the country who are veterans.

Washington DC to basically see the monument for the wars that they fought in and so we’re losing more and more of these guys from Vietnam and from the Korean War and and so we need to celebrate them and recognize them while they’re here and so this is a perfect example. Your story was a great opportunity. I know he meant a lot to you personally but also it’s a great opportunity to represent a veteran who is super active in our community. Absolutely.

Well, moving on to the big topic, we talk a lot about affordable housing and what it means and how it could be. And I think that that’s something that as long as I, as long as we’re doing this, I’m going to keep hammering this because I think it’s a, it’s a problem that we need to continue to talk about in order to keep it in front of mind for solutions. But I guess today’s question is what’s, what’s the answer to this affordable housing shortage in our area and what do we need to do as individuals to solve it or reduce the, the, uh,

problems that we’re having with it. I mean, you’ve done a lot with this. You’ve really worked in the affordable housing space as a developer. But I guess my question is, is what overarching big policies would you like to see from the from the county commission, from the, you know, from city halls and Valparaiso and Niceville? I mean, we got these elections coming up. What do you want to hear from these candidates about how to solve this kind of stuff? Sure. Well, I think the

The problem is different depending on where in Oak Loose or Walton County you’re talking about. But obviously this show centered on Niceville, Valpe and Blue Water Bay. So I can comment a little bit on that. I was lucky to be on a call recently with the county public health departments for Oak Loose and Walton County. And I asked them specifically because they were using the term affordable housing. I said, do you guys have a definition for affordable housing? And they said,

do it’s 20 % to 120 % of AMI and I had to like quickly Google what am I was but it’s basically average median income which that is a pretty broad stretch right like you could do the math on that I know I don’t know what the exact number for Ocaloosa County is I would guess it’s 75 ,000 but even if you use like a hundred thousand as the median income

You know, you’re looking at everything from 20 ,000 up to 120 ,000. I mean, that’s pretty, pretty wide breadth. And then they say that you’re supposed to use about 30 % of your income on rent or mortgage, you know, on basic housing. So, you know, I think if you did all that math and you translated it to a monthly rent, even like specifically on the high end, I don’t, I think people would not consider that a horrible.

But I mean, you’re still talking numbers, you know, above $2 ,000 a month for that, for that top level of affordable housing. But ultimately what happens to be able to build it is to, is to build smaller properties, smaller square footage properties. Also, it would be super helpful for the jurisdictions involved to allow some relief on, on parking and on.

you know, what borders these properties so that you can maximize the space that we do have with as many units as possible, even if they’re smaller units. And I think you’re starting to see some of that specifically in Niceville and in Valpe where the city councils recognize the fact that there needs to be more affordable housing. And to do that, you have to decrease the square footage of each unit.

And I think that it’s worked in nice from Valpe because there’s no other choice. Right. Yeah. I think that there was a candidate that I spoke with last week, maybe two weeks, go Kerry Pitzer who talked about, you know, the the north end of the county really doesn’t want to see a lot of people there don’t want to see a lot of growth into that ag land sprawl. Exactly. And so I think that goes hand in hand with what you were saying about, you know, making sure that we’re not building, you know, bigger pieces of land with one.

property on it. And one thing that she said specifically, because I asked, I pushed her on it. I asked, you know, so you okay with seven story apartment blocks? And she said, yeah, in the right places. And I’m beginning to think that, you know, as I look at this more and more, we’re seeing that this, this housing issue has become not just like a regional nice filled out Paris thing. It’s a whole ecosystem here in Ocaloosa County that we’re going to have to be prepared to work with. Because,

Like we said, there’s not a ton of land left in Niceville and Valparaiso and the land that is here is really expensive. So I almost think we’re going to have to start building like apartment blocks en masse. So here’s the problems with apartments that people don’t realize, right? So if you’re a homeowner in Florida right now, you probably saw anywhere from a 20 to 100 % increase in your insurance. And the state has done some great things to try to curb that. And that’s been great.

But the number of insurance companies who are willing to ensure apartment complexes is even smaller than the number of insurance companies available to ensure single family homes. And so when a developer is looking at a plot of land and they say, well, I can put 20 or 30 unit apartment complex here, some of them are choosing not to and are choosing to build single families.

because of the insurance risk. If you build a 20 unit apartment complex and then you have all your numbers set and it looks like, okay, this could do okay financially. And then the next year your insurance would jump 50%, it doesn’t make it easy for a developer. It’s just too much risk. Is it the variability in the insurance rates or is it the fact that they just continue to climb higher? Well, it’s the fact that they climb, that they…

they have been increasing, but it’s also less choice. Right. And, and so if you wanted to decrease risk as a developer, you would, you would build single family homes. And I will tell you that this happened to me. Like we were going to build an apartment complex and Val P and, um, it would, it would have maximized the unit space. It would have provided more affordable, affordable housing. We built affordable housing anyway, but it would have provided more units of affordable housing.

And we chose instead to build small single family units because, because we knew the insurance would at least be somewhat predictable compared to apartment insurance. So the, the insurance can rapidly increase on you in a, in a commercial. Uh, in a multifamily situation. Cause you know, maybe there’s like five companies, right? Like if you went to go get insurance in Florida right now, you probably got double digit choices, um, in it, but you don’t have that, uh, for apartment complexes. Why is that?

Uh, I mean, I think the other parts of Florida that have been heavily hit by hurricanes and storms, uh, you know, a lot of those buildings were multifamily in the bigger cities and there was a lot of damage and insurance, you know, um, claims. And so it’s not profitable for insurance companies to be involved in those types of situations. So a lot of them just back out over time. It’s basically the same thing that’s happened, you know, on the, on the single family side. Just worse. Yeah, just worse. Yeah.

And so do you think that, um, with the stuff, the state has done, do you think that we’ll move more in a direction where it will become more affordable for guys like you to build? I guess my hope is, is that we’re past the worst part of it and that we see some leveling off in these prices over time. And it would sure help if we continue to have kind of calm hurricane seasons in the state. Um, that would definitely help. Yeah. Knock on wood. Um,

But I would like to, in my next project with my business partners, is build an apartment complex because I do think that’s what Nice Home Val B needs. And I know there’s some other developers in the area who have considered it. Randy Wise is a good friend of mine and I know he’s considered building one as well and he’s trying to figure out the same things, costs, overarching costs of getting it built and then still having the public feel like it’s affordable. You’re saying that $4 ,000 apartment

rents are not okay, Manhattan level apartment rent. No, but I mean, you know, if, if someone sees a two bedroom for 1900 or 2000, I think a lot of people think that’s not what affordable housing means. But in actuality, it is, it’s within the range of affordable housing. So what you’re going to see probably a smaller units, you’re going to see studio apartments, you’re going to see one bedroom apartments pop up. So that

The cost can be closer to that thousand dollars or $1 ,200 a month type of thing. I think that’s really the only way to get it done. And then hopefully, you know, Niceville and Valpe and the county will give people some reprieve on setbacks and parking and those types of things, depending on where they are, obviously. But we’ll just have to see. I mean, time will tell. But again, you know, we harp on it all the time. You know, all the stuff is in strong towns and…

And so we’re hoping that we can continue to bring new ideas and build a stronger, Niceville, Val-p and Bluewater. 

Well, a couple of things coming up this week. First of which on my list is the Northwest Florida State College baseball team is a Roland people. Like in the final four? So the final four for the state. And so they run ruled Polk State here at home.

twice in two games. So it’s three game series unless you beat him the first two games, which they did. We got to talk to Coach Martin this morning a little bit more about the games. He said, you know, they’re a little bit closer than everybody wants to think they were. I don’t know if that’s English. Coach speak. He was being kind to his opponent. But in actuality, they crushed. Yeah, they did. They did not knock their socks off. It was not a close game.

But speaking of not having a close game, the next team they’re up against, Florida Southwestern, another Final Four team. They played them twice so far this year, both non -conference games. Beat them pretty heavily. And beat the breaks off of them. I think they’re heavily favored, so it would be a huge letdown if we come back next week and they lost that series. But I think they’re on a good path, man. And then there’s another tournament.

After yes to win the whole thing. So this is region eight region eight is like the state tournament in juco baseball And then the next one up is the national tournament. And so that’s that’s where all the you know, I mean It’s the national tournament. You know the best teams that are uh, best teams that exist go and play um, but the For south western not nothing to sneeze at they’ve had a very good season as well except for when they played northwest Florida State College including a 20 to 10 game to start off the season, which I thought was

Like, do you remember in money ball? That’s quite a big baseball game, right? Like when the A’s are like going for a 17 game win streak or something ridiculous and they’re up like 20 to six and then whoever it was, the Indians or the Red Sox slowly climbed back, but they still win it. Right. Spoiler alert. But it’s a lot closer. Yeah. It’s kind of spoiler alert. It happened like how many years in the eighties or nineties? I don’t know, man. Not the point. The point is, is that it happened and I don’t want to tell you what happened. So you go watch the movie.

Anyway, County Commission meeting is also coming up tomorrow. A couple of small pieces of business. The first thing is that the Reclaim Water Project, it’s supposed to bring in purple pipe, reclaim water into Deer Moss Creek, is supposed to get yet another approval from the Oak Loose County Board of County Commissioners. This one would allow the county to go ahead and dig all the piping and put it in so that it goes on that little strip of land that’s Eglen Air Force Base’s land. And then.

people that are on the east side of town will eventually get reclaimed water and see their bills get cut in like half. And what are we doing with the reclaimed water? We are using it to mow to water our lawns? Indeed. It is like only lawn watering. I almost said lawn mowing or mon -lowing, you know? Um, anyway, uh, yes, but it will, it will reduce the cost of keeping your lawns green or in my case, yellowish green. I do what I can people. I’m not, I’m.

sprinklers wrong when I got here though, I had to make sure they weren’t hitting the car. That’s what I do man, but so Keep a lookout for that slowly, but surely there is progress in the purple pipe department And we will eventually see that just like in the Deer Moss Creek area. You’ll eventually see a pool So I’m told anyway the new recycling agreement with waste management is really the thing I want to talk about because as you might know really recycling

put on my trash nerd hat here. Were they recycling before? Okay, so yes, yes and no and sort of kind of. Here’s the problem with recycling in America is that most people don’t do a very good job of it. And I don’t I don’t mean to call people out individually as they watch my show. Thank you for watching, by the way, our show. Our show. He’s also in on this. Blood’s on his hands for this next comment. They’re not cleaning the bottles good enough. No, they just put the wrong stuff in there. So

Stuff like, you know, like the milk cartons that have like the waxy stuff on the top. You can’t throw that out. People don’t know because there’s a long list and it’s very complicated and therefore not easy. Point I’m trying to make is that, I should go back further. We currently do recycling with the Escambia County Utilities Authority, ECUA. And they have a big old recycling MRF, materials recovery facility outside of Cantonment, Florida, which is like 20 miles north of San Juan.

Anyway, it costs us about $30 a ton to get all of our recyclables up there. So now we’re at about $91 a ton to recycle stuff. All right. You’re paying to recycle. You’re not getting any money back. No one’s getting any money back because recyclables are a losing proposition. Anyway, this new materials recovery facility that waste management is putting in Fort Walton Beach is of course a lot closer and

The waste management trucks just take it straight there. So there’s no transportation costs added on. So now we’re at about $77 is what they’re estimating for a materials recovery for recycling. So you get to pay them to recycle instead of what? 10 years ago when they were paying us to recycle. Anyway, this new facility is set to open the beginning of June and is going to save the taxing entities. So board of county commissioners, city of Niceville, whatever.

uh, some amount of money because it is literally less expensive to put it there. That’s the good thing. Bad thing is, is that they’re going to eventually start charging us based on our percentage of contamination rate. Yeah. And that’s per household, not per household, but for, for the municipal or the entity contracting. So after, after a six year grace period where they give us a 40 % contamination rate percentage. So literally two out of every five.

loads of recyclables has something in it that’s not recyclable. One thing they’re going to go down to, I think it’s 25 then 20 then 15 % contamination before they start like back charging. And guys, we are not good at recycling. We are really bad at it. The contamination rate when I was last time I was at when I was working at Eau Closier County was somewhere in the high twenties. I don’t imagine it’s gotten any better.

The good news though, is that we can now recycle plastics three, four, six, and seven, which we couldn’t do before. But many people thought we could. My big issue with recycling at this point is that we wish that we could recycle. And so we just throw stuff in there and then it gets contaminated and it makes everything more expensive. The reason that China, who was our biggest consumer of recyclable products, quit taking our stuff is because it was so contaminated. So we used to have a profitable system.

And then they realized, hey, they’re just giving us trash. And then they stopped. And now 95 % of the world’s recycling capacity is not allowing American recyclables in. So, um, I want to say that it’s everybody else’s fault, but it’s not, um, we, we did that. We’ve turned this into the second big topic. Sorry about this. I’m so sorry. I, I, I, this is my, this is my weird hill that I somehow got thrown on to die on. You’re up.

What’s the next topic? What are you talking about? You don’t have amazing and insightful things to say about. You are keeping the iPad over there and I cannot see it. Okay, fine. That’s all I had on there. I’m sorry. I just, it’s very important. Are we at buy sell now? We are at buy sell now. I think it’s your turn. It’s my turn to go first? Yeah, because you did me dirty last week with audio. Okay, fair enough. I’m selling any hope that we’re ever going to have profitable recycling in this country again. Just for reasons explained.

Um, people don’t recycle good. People are not incentivized to recycle good. And so why would they, um, buying, I am, I am buying the search for the next Northwest Florida state college president. I’m really excited to see what this pulls out. I’ve talked to five or six different people with some, like a board of regions or something. So the, the board of Northwest Florida state college picks somebody. Yeah. Then it’s confirmed by the board of governors. Got it.

But everybody has their hands in it. Yeah. So, you know, um, you got to end over there. We’re going to find out. I hope so. I want to be the person that breaks that news guys. If you’re listening, your boy, thank you. Um, but I’ve heard a lot of different names thrown around. So everybody from Dr. Mack, who’s kind of, um, he came in this past year, Dr. Henry Mack, um, and is, is kind of like this can do it all kind of guy. Yeah.

Really excited. They’ll go into I don’t know. I’ve also heard Mel Ponder’s name thrown around a couple of other names So, I don’t know and that’s it’s kind of exciting is that it’s it’s kind of open yeah, and Hopefully they decide soon. Yes, and ultimately I and I need to remind everybody this because this was brought up with Devin Stevenson over at Florida Poly Devin Stevenson does not have a STEM degree and so some people at Florida Poly were like well He shouldn’t be the president of a STEM school. I

And I sort of think that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard because you, they’re not asking you to like make the circuits go round as the president. They’re asking you to do two things. Keep the wheels on the track, raise money. I am the CEO of an IT services company and I have never coded a line of code in my life. Thank you. I just think it’s bonkers. I just think it’s, it’s in my top 10 for stupidest things that all year. Um, because raising money,

First state college is not an easy feat. No, of course not. And Dr. Stevenson has done it. Yeah. In space. Go look over there. They’ll be fine. They’ve literally built an entire on -campus housing unit. Sounds like sour, somebody’s sour grapes. I think it’s very sour grapes. And I am, the only thing I’m sour grapes about in this whole thing is that we didn’t get to keep Dr. Stevenson longer, but that’s just one man’s opinion. Anyway. My turn? Yes. All right. I am buying side hustles because fundamentally that’s what the teacher in Blue Water Bay did.

She wrote a book as a side hustle. It has been very good for her. In fact, she’s probably going to write a second book. I don’t think we mentioned that. So I think that’s awesome. You know, Mid Bay News started as a side hustle. Indeed it did. Yeah. Pretty much my entire real estate career started as a side hustle. So I’m buying local people doing side hustles. What am I selling? I think I’m selling the fact that people still don’t understand that we have multiple jurisdictions of police officers in this area.

and fire departments and stuff and they want the city of niceville to police everything um paul you know what would fix that yes i know you’re buying the idea of all of it coming together consolidation yeah thank you one day man it’s happening i’m bring your mouth the guts here’s look if you scroll down to the bottom of the home page it says merge our cities and there is literally my master’s thesis i’m not saying read the whole thing i’m just saying i would

There’s graphs and pictures and charts. All right. Oh, you got you can scan those. Look at the graphs and pictures and charts. That’s all I’m asking you to do. It’ll take three minutes. I think it would be a very good idea. That’s all I’m saying. Anyway, very good idea. Christopher, he’s Paul. Thanks for joining us. Yeah, be nice. Nice. So until next week, peace.

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