Atlanta Company Challenges Bay County, Marianna for Federal Courthouse

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - BREAKING: Bay County has more competition in it's bid for the federal courthouse project.

Last year, the Federal District Court decided not to renew the lease on the federal courthouse in Panama City. The lease expires December of this year. 

Since then, Marianna and Bay County have submitted bids to try and keep the courthouse, and the jobs that come with it, here.

Rooker properties confirmed to News 13 that they have bid for the court house.

They're a private company based out of Atlanta. They're a GSA developer operating in about 18 different states and they began pursuing this project in January.

This means Bay County and Marianna have added competition. 

As we know, dozens of courthouse jobs would be relocated, and a huge inconvenience to locals if the federal courthouse leaves Bay County.

"That's when Carol Roberts, and the chamber, and the county, and the city, we all got together and said 'we want to keep our courthouse here'," Panama City's Mayor, Greg Brudnicki, said.

Earlier this year, Bay County submitted a proposal to keep the courthouse in Panama City.

Under the county's proposal, the federal courthouse would relocate to the juvenile courthouse on 11th Street.

Company officials said they met with Panama City representatives about working together if they won the bid.

"They have a great relationship with GSA and they really know their stuff," Brudnicki said.

Bay County's manager, Bob Majka, said he doesn't know much about other bidders.  

"Our focus has been to make sure that we put our best competitive foot forward so if there are other proposals, we have the opportunity to compete," Majka said.

Other bidders could move the courthouse out of Bay County. Both the city and county have the same end goal.

"I don't really care who get's it, we just want it to be here," Brudnicki said.

"The objective here is to make sure that the federal courthouse stays in Bay County," Majka said.

Rooker Properties told News 13 that if they do win the bid, they plan to keep the courthouse in Panama City.

According to public records, Rooker is seeking about $1.7 million worth of grants and incentives from the city.

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