BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Millions of dollars in grant money is coming to Bay County, as FEMA has approved a grant to provide emergency power for the Williams Bayou Pumping Station.
Williams Bayou Pumping Station is the primary station that provides drinking water to the entire county.
This specific grant from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Project will provide the pumping station with $2.69 million for extra precautionary measures.
“This one is to give backup power to the pumping station where we don’t lose it after a disaster. It also will give us the ability to vary the speeds of the pumps that will save us energy long term,” said Bay County’s Chief Infrastructure Officer, Keith Bryant.
A 2.5-megawatt diesel generator will serve as an emergency power source and help with protection against power surges.
“It will help us ensure a constant supply of water to the county citizens and the city citizens,” said Bryant.
Bryant says the need for these backup power sources became evident after Hurricane Michael.
“Hazard mitigation is to make the county better prepared for the next disaster so this generator will protect the pumps during power outages,” said Bryant.
This is not the only grant the county has applied for. Their hope is to receive nearly $106 million worth of funding for projects.
“Some of it for generators for the sheriff’s office, generators for the jail, for paving $48 million in dirt roads. The county has several one-lane wooden bridges that we want to replace, so we’ve applied for funding for that also,” said Bryant.
County leaders with the project expect that activity will start in around 60 days, but there shouldn’t be a difference in daily operations at the pump.