PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Beach Drive residents are continuing to oppose the City’s proposed multi-use sidewalk project.

The Preserve Beach Drive has amassed over 700 signatures. It notes environmental concerns, fiscal irresponsibility, and historical preservation as reasons to oppose the project.

The City, however, is pushing back. Commissioner Josh Street took to Facebook Sunday to dispute some of the petition’s claims.

The group’s website argues that the funds reserved for this project would be better suited for other uses.

Since the project is using state funds, that cannot happen. If the City decides not to pursue the project, it goes back to the state.

“This original grant intention was for a waterfront, a waterfront sidewalk, along Beach Drive. And so that’s what we need to stay true to, to really, truly honor the intent of the grant funding,” said Commissioner Josh Street.

In protest, residents tied ribbons to trees they say would be cut down if the project moved forward. The City took the ribbons down last week, saying it is illegal to place signage on Right-of-ways. On Monday, the ribbons returned.

The City currently has five design options for the project. Residents can discuss those options at the City’s open house on October 24th at the Bay County Government Complex.