Hurricane Michael changed everything in Mexico Beach from the landscape to tourism. A lot of work is needed to restore this once popular area of Bay County.
The Bay County Tourist Development Council voted to provide the local match to a grant on behalf of Mexico Beach and their Community Development Council.
“We’re going to help our sister city to the East of us, who got decimated by Hurricane Michael. We’re going to help them with some beach renourishment projects.” said Bay County Commision Chairman, Philip Griffitts.
Several years ago Mexico Beach received a grant for six hundred thousand dollars for doing a truck haul project to stabilize sand before Hurricane Michael hit. Now that permits are in place, it’s time for the local sponsor to provide those matching funds to be able to receive four hundred and fifty thousand dollars from the state. The state pays 75% of the project and the local sponsor pays the last 25%, which comes out to one hundred and thousand dollars the TDC is offering to pay on Mexico Beach’s behalf.
TDC president, Dan Rowe tells us aside from tax collection, where the money will come from.
“Panama City Beach itself, we did see an increase in our visitor spending over the Winter time. So were just assisting our friends to the East to make sure they can get that state grant and move forward with his truck hall project.” said Rowe.
TDC Chairman Buddy Wilkes is happy with the group’s decision.
“I think that’s a really important thing to do. Something we should be doing perhaps even more. I’m just very proud that this group is willing to do that.” said Wilkes.
They don’t have an exact start date for the project but they hope to begin the next step in this process in the immediate future.