MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Mexico Beach is receiving more funding to help rebuild the city.

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity granted the Eastern Bay County town millions for the devastation of Hurricane Michael.

“This is a new lane for us because everything we’ve been doing to this point has been rebuilding something that was here before,” Mexico Beach City Administrator Doug Baber said. “This is something that we didn’t have before.”

Mexico Beach received almost $9 million from the DEO for the project. Baber said the city bought the acreage from the St. Joe Company with the intention of adding a retention pond.

“That was the sole purpose for this property,” Baber said. “That’s why the St. Joe company sold it to us to help create a little more resiliency in Mexico Beach so that we would have the low-lying areas would have less flooding should we ever have a storm surge of that size again.”

Mexico Beach has not yet received funding from the state. 

Baber said it will be the biggest drainage area in the city.

“The majority of the older part of town where all the residents that live here full time live is basically where the flooding zones were most evident that needed this detention pond,” Baber said.

Baber said they also plan to restore the area’s habitat and add a boardwalk for residents. He said they are currently in the design phase of the project.

The project is expected to take four years.