Panama City leaders and residents discuss future of Baker Court

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–Since the Bay County Half-Cent Surtax passed in 2016, the City of Panama City has been using the funding for infrastructure projects within city limits. On Tuesday, city leaders and residents met to discuss the future of Baker Court which is just one of the many infrastructure projects funded by the tax.

More than 30 Panama City residents joined the discussion both in person and via Zoom to share their thoughts on improvements that will be made to Baker Court.

“The improvements we want to do for Baker Court are water and sewer, it’s been a long time coming. And also what we’re going to do on the surface,” said Mike Nichols, Panama City’s Commissioner for Ward 4.

Residents were presented with two ideas, option A and option B.

“The one that we’re probably gonna toss, it had a sidewalk and a bike path taking up that room in that particular area,” said Nichols.

That is option A. However more residents preferred option B which only includes a sidewalk.

Some residents living on Bakers Court say they’re thankful for the city improving their road but would like to keep it minimal.

“We think the city can save money by not having sidewalks on both sides of the roads and no bike paths on both sides of the roads,” said Steve Humphreys, a Panama City resident.

But other residents disagreed, saying they like the idea of bike paths.

“I think these plans are awesome, right now I do not consider Baker Court walkable, I’ve been hit almost numerous times. I’ve even thought of buying my own speed bumps,” said Donna Beamer, a resident.

Now, the city will take everyone’s comments into consideration as they create new conceptual designs of the road.

“We’ll come up with maybe a sidewalk on one side of the road, come up with plans with just curvings and no sidewalks and then meet with the citizens in January,” said Nichols.

The city hopes to bid the project out by April and start construction by next fall.

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