Bonifay leaders hope to balance budget

Local News

BONIFAY, Fla. (WMBB) – Bonifay city leaders met to discuss some critical budget deficits.

According to our media partner, the Holmes County Times Advertiser, the city has more than half a million dollars in outstanding invoices and grants.

In city meetings this week and last, Bonifay city officials were at odds regarding the state of finances.

One of the hottest issues is regarding a notice of intent issued by attorneys for Holley Development to terminate work on the fire department expansion project on grounds of non-payment.

Travis Cook, council member and assistant fire chief talked about how this has affected the fire department.

“It does affect the morale of our firefighters,” Cook said. “We are temporarily displaced as far as where our firetruck our housed at so morale does play a factor in that but everybody’s handling it well and it is business as usual for fire protection.”

Mayor James “Eddie” Sims acknowledged the city’s current inability to pay the nearly 125,000 owed to Holley Development for work performed on the project, but now sees a path.

He spoke with the Department of Economic Opportunity on Tuesday about reimbursement of the 277,000 in funds the city paid out of their pocket for an engineering study conducted a part of the stormwater drainage project north of Highway 90.

“We did make contact with people actually in the agencies involved with the money,” said Sims. “We are working with that and we got feedback this afternoon. Hopefully, by Friday, we will have the money in our account.”

Cook is very pleased with this news and is excited that development should hopefully resume soon.

“The letter was disheartening to all of our fire staff, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Cook said. “After reaching out to the DEO today we are very hopeful that Friday that money will hit our account and replenish our line of credit therefore we can pay Holley Development the money that we owe them.”

The letter, dated Monday, July 26, is giving the city the contractually agreed upon ten days to make the payment.

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