Danyelle Lantz, the zoo’s executive director, asked the Santa Rosa County Commission on July 24 to postpone voting on a proposal to help fund the attraction. She said media coverage of the zoo’s financial crisis revealed “a lot of questions out there in the community.”
County Commission Chairman John Broxson proposed giving the zoo $125,000 per year for three years if the zoological society matched that amount and agreed to the creation of an appointed authority to oversee zoo management. Broxson had scheduled a vote on the proposal for Thursday but sounded relieved when Lantz asked to put off a decision until later.
“I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to help the zoo, but I appreciate your recognizing the time that we’ll need to look into this and to bring the public along with us,” Broxson said. “I think we can make the zoo a beautiful place. It will be a landmark for Northwest Florida, but it’s going to take a little work.”
Lantz didn’t ask for an indefinite postponement. She told commissioners she needs to know by September whether local governments will support the zoo so directors can decide whether to begin preparing to close the facility.
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