LYNN HAVEN Fla. (WMBB) — There are many improvements still left to be made in the city of Lynn Haven following Hurricane Michael. When it comes to applying for grants, City Manager Vickie Gainer said they were picky with their choices to be sure they were necessary.
“We really just didn’t want to submit just anything,” Gainer said. “We wanted to really take the time to look over the city and what is needed most in the city.”
Tuesday, the Lynn Haven City Commission voted to approve a grant application to help in the recovery process from the storm.
The city decided on five projects to submit as a part of their Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery or CDBG-DR application.
Most were infrastructure-related such as the improvements to West 10th Street, the 12th Street Stormwater System, as well as the overall sewage systems and wastewater treatment facility.
Their final choice is to create the city’s first community emergency center at the Lynn Haven Sports Complex.
“We don’t have one of those here in the City of Lynn Haven and it can be two-fold,” Gainer said. “We are looking at that as a community center as well as hardened enough to be an emergency shelter.”
The emergency center would include a gymnasium, cafeteria and restrooms.
In total, the grant would cover the 25 million dollar cost of the projects.
In order for the projects to qualify for the block-grant, they must first benefit low or moderate-income communities and then demonstrate an urgent need in the community – which these five do.
Darryl Cox, one of the consultants working with the city from the Integrity Group in Tallahassee said it is a competitive program but the projects Lynn Haven chose will score high on the list.
“One of the most important pieces of public infrastructure is water systems, wastewater, stormwater drainage and all of those things are a vital part of a community,” Cox said.
The official application is due on November 30. After that it will be a waiting game for the city, but they are hoping to have the final approval from the Florida Department of Economic Development by early 2021.