Panama City officials approve plans for future of the city

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Panama City commission meetings usually start with the reading of previous minutes and a couple of community recognitions, but on Tuesday, the meeting began with a series of presentations all about the state of the city one year after Hurricane Michael.

“[I’m] very encouraged by everything I heard today,” said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki.

Presentation topics included economic redevelopment, the ‘Strategic Vision for Downtown and the Waterfront,’ housing, a FEMA update and the debris cleanup status. Both the economic redevelopment plan and the strategic vision were approved by the commissioners.

“Now it’s up to us to go ahead and fulfill what the public wanted us to do,” said Brudnicki.

Both plans highlighted key ideas and goals for the city to work toward in the short and long-term future, like increasing housing, improving schools and attracting business to the area, as well as beautification projects.

Officials say they’re starting with clearing the rest of the marina, working on streetscapes and having stricter code enforcement. 

“We’re not going to let this become a doorstop or a dust-collector,” said City Manager of Panama City, Mark McQueen. “We got to get on with this.”

McQueen says residents will begin seeing movement on these plans immediately.

“Our effort is to try to get this done within the next three to five years,” he said. “We have got to set the momentum and get after this, otherwise we are going to squander this opportunity that has presented itself to Panama City.”

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