PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The City of Panama City has been granted a FEMA Community Disaster Loan of up to $5 million.
At Tuesday’s city commission meeting, the commissioners voted to allow Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki to move forward with signing the final loan agreement.
Brudnicki said there’s a possibility that the $5 million cap could even be extended to be up to 25 percent of the city’s budget, which would total around $20 million for Panama City.
He said the interest rate to pay back this loan is lower than that of the other loans the city has taken out from financial institutions, and that there is a possibility that the loan could be forgiven.
“It is money that’s available to us, that they have used this program for years and years and years for community, CDL loans,” said Brudnicki. “So this is a way for us to help us get back to normalcy.”
Brudnicki said the city has taken out $75 million dollars in loans; much of that has been used to cover the costs of debris removal.
City Manager of Panama City, Mark McQueen, says Panama City is FEMA’s third priority in getting the money dispersed, behind Mexico Beach and the City of Parker.
McQueen said that once the papers are signed, it’ll take around five weeks for the loan to be processed and the money to make it’s way to Panama City.